According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), colorectal cancers are the second highest cause of death from cancers that happen in both women and men. The CDC’s latest statistics regarding colorectal cancer show that 139,992 people were diagnosed with the disease in 2014 and 51,651 people died. Yet, the American Cancer Society states that when caught early, colorectal cancers have a 90 percent five-year survival rate. Unfortunately, it is often not detected before it spreads because people don’t undergo screening. If your parent has not been screened for colorectal cancer, doing so could save their life.
Colorectal cancers refer to both colon cancer and rectal cancer. Colon cancer affects the large intestine, which is the lower section of the intestines. Rectal cancer affects the rectum, which is just the final inches of the colon. Most cases start as polyps (clusters of cells) that are not cancerous. The polyps turn into cancer over time. Often polyps don’t cause any symptoms, so being screened for colorectal cancer is the only way to detect them.
There are many risk factors for colorectal cancer. Some of those risk factors are:
- Age: After the age of 50, the risk for colorectal cancer is higher.
- Personal History: If your parent has already had colorectal cancer or polyps, they are at a greater risk for the cancer recurring.
- Race: People of African-American descent are more likely to get colorectal cancer.
- Certain Intestinal Conditions: If your parent has an inflammatory intestinal condition, like Crohn’s disease, their risks are higher.
- Family History: Having a parent, child, or sibling with colorectal cancer increases the risk.
- Diabetes: Diabetes and insulin resistance raise the risks.
- Diet: Research indicates that diets that are high in fat and calories, but low in fiber are linked with colorectal cancer.
- Lifestyle: Smoking, lack of exercise, heavy use of alcohol, and obesity are all risk factors for colorectal cancer.
Early Screening is Key.
There are several different types of tests and exams used for detecting colorectal cancer, including colonoscopy, blood tests, CT scan, ultrasound, biopsy, and MRI. The CDC recommends that people be screened regularly for colorectal cancer starting at the age of 50. Early detection of polyps allows doctors to remove them, which can avoid cancer altogether. If your parent has not been screened for colorectal cancer lately, talk to their doctor to determine if they are due to be tested.
If your parent is diagnosed with colorectal cancer, hiring a home care provider through an agency can help as they go through treatment. A home care provider can drive them to medical appointments and assist with tasks around the house so that your parent can rest. Home care providers also give family members the confidence to go about their lives knowing that someone is with their parent and taking good care of them.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Madison, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.