EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — March is Colorectal Awareness Month and, according to Dr. Paul Estrada from the Hospitals at Providence, screening is incredibly important due to early detection, which results in a 90-percent survival rate.
Although getting screened may detect cancer before symptoms appear, 1 in 3 people are not up-to-date for their screenings, according to Estrada.
The new recommendation for screening has been lowered to age 45 for both men and women.
Common questions concerning colorectal cancer:
What are signs of colorectal cancer?
- During the early stages, there may not be any signs, which is why screenings are so important. Estrada mentions rectal bleeding, blood in the stool or changes in bowel movements as some of the signs. Other signs may include bloating or having a sense of feeling full or abdominal cramps, as well as weight loss or extreme fatigue.
What are the risk factors someone should be aware of?
- Risk factors may include having family history of colon cancer or colon polyps. Other factors that could put a person at risk is Type 2 diabetes, obesity, a diet high in red meat or alcohol abuse.
How treatable is colon cancer?
- When caught early, colon cancer is very treatable, which is why Estrada encourages people to visit their doctor beginning at the age of 45.