Colon Cancer Awareness Month: How to Prevent Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is a malignant tumor that develops in the colon or rectum. It is the third most common cancer in both men and women. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and risk factors associated with colon cancer is crucial for early detection and prevention.

The exact cause of colon cancer is unknown, but several factors can increase the risk. Age is a significant factor, as the risk increases after the age of 50. A family history of colon cancer or certain genetic conditions, such as Lynch syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis, can also increase the risk. Other risk factors include a diet high in red or processed meats, obesity, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Symptoms of colon cancer may vary. Common signs include changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation, blood in the stool, abdominal pain, fatigue, and unexplained weight loss. It is important to note that these symptoms can also be attributed to other conditions, making it necessary to consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

blue ribbon for colorectal cancer awareness month

The Importance of Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Colon Cancer Awareness Month plays a crucial role in promoting early detection and prevention. By raising awareness about the disease, more people can learn about the risk factors, symptoms, and available screenings. This understanding enables you to take proactive measures to prevent colon cancer and facilitates early detection when treatment is most effective.

Increased awareness can help reduce the stigma surrounding colon cancer screenings. Many people may feel uncomfortable discussing or undergoing screenings. This is due to the invasive nature of some procedures. Being informed about the importance of screenings can encourage people to prioritize their health and overcome any hesitations they may have.

How to Prevent Colon Cancer

Preventing colon cancer involves adopting a proactive approach toward personal health and making lifestyle modifications. Not all cases of colon cancer can be prevented. There are several steps individuals can take to reduce their risk. By incorporating these steps into your lifestyle, you can take control of your health and reduce the likelihood of developing colon cancer.

  • Maintain a Healthy Diet:Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins in your diet. Limit the consumption of red and processed meats, as they have been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight:Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. Individuals can lower their risk by maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise.
  • Engage in Regular Physical Activity: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. This could include brisk walking or cycling. Regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  • Avoid Tobacco and Limit Alcohol Consumption: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. Quitting smoking and moderating alcohol intake can significantly lower the risk.
  • Screen Regularly for Colon Cancer: This is especially important for individuals aged 50 and above or those with a family history of colon cancer. Screenings play a vital role in the early detection and prevention of colon cancer.

The Role of Screenings in Detecting and Preventing Colon Cancer

Screening tests, such as colonoscopy or stool tests, can detect precancerous polyps or early-stage cancer, allowing for timely intervention. The most common screening for colon cancer is a colonoscopy. During this procedure, a flexible tube with a camera is inserted into the rectum to examine the colon for abnormalities. If polyps are found, they can be removed or biopsied to determine if they are cancerous. Other screening methods include stool tests, such as the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) or the guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT).

It is important to consult with your doctor to determine the most appropriate screening method based on individual risk factors and preferences. Regular screenings should be conducted as your doctor recommends to ensure early detection and prevention.

Choosing the Right Doctor for Your Colonoscopy

Securing a qualified and experienced doctor is crucial for effective colonoscopy screenings, given that the doctor’s expertise significantly impacts the procedure’s accuracy. Our team at Florida Medical Clinic Orlando Health takes pride in offering top-notch healthcare services, and our experienced gastroenterologists and doctors are ready to serve you. With a commitment to providing personalized care, our specialists ensure that your colonoscopy is conducted with the utmost precision and attention to detail.

a doctor using a colon diagram to explain how to prevent colon cancer

Resources for Colon Cancer Awareness and Support

Several resources are available for Colon Cancer Awareness Month and provide support to individuals and families affected by the disease. These resources offer valuable information, educational materials, support services, and opportunities for advocacy:

  • Florida Medical Clinic Orlando Health Cancer Treatment: For patients diagnosed with colon cancer, our team at Florida Medical Clinic Orlando Health is here to help. From diagnosis to survivorship, we are dedicated to supporting you and your families throughout every stage of your colon cancer journey.
  • American Cancer Society: The American Cancer Society provides comprehensive information about colon cancer, including risk factors, prevention strategies, and treatment options. They also offer support services, such as a helpline and online forums, for individuals and families affected by colon cancer.
  • National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable:The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable is a coalition of organizations dedicated to reducing the incidence of colon cancer through prevention and early detection. Their website offers resources for healthcare professionals, patients, and advocates, including screening guidelines and educational materials.
  • Local support groups:Local support groups provide a platform for you and families affected by colon cancer to connect, share experiences, and seek emotional support. These groups often organize meetings, educational sessions, and social events to foster a sense of community and provide a safe space for individuals to express their concerns.

By utilizing these resources, you can access valuable information, support, and assistance throughout your colon cancer journey, including advanced cancer treatment options available at Florida Medical Clinic Orlando Health.

Act Now for Colorectal Cancer Prevention Month

Colon cancer poses significant health risks. Increased awareness can help overcome screening barriers, reduce stigma, and encourage individuals to prioritize their health. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, receiving regular screenings, and utilizing available resources are effective measures to reduce the incidence and mortality rates associated with colon cancer. Join us during Colon Cancer Awareness Month to raise awareness, provide support, and act against colon cancer.

Take charge of your colon health by contacting our highly experienced team at Florida Medical Clinic Orlando Health in Brandon. With a wealth of expertise, our professionals are dedicated to providing comprehensive care. Schedule your colon cancer screening today, and urge your loved ones to do the same because early detection saves lives.

Meet Joseph S. Cody, MD

Dr. Cody is a board certified Gastroenterologist, specializing in IBS, Crohn’s Disease, Colitis and GERD. He provides expert GI care to his patients in Brandon and North Tampa.  Schedule your appointment with Dr. Cody by calling 813-972-2324.



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