Five Key Points About Colon and Rectal Cancer


Your colon, which comprises the greatest portion of the large bowel, plays an important function in digestive health. As the remnants of food consumed pass by way of the colon, the last remaining nutrients and water are absorbed, and the debris is then expelled out by way of the rectum as stool. Cancer that emerges in the colon or rectum is often grouped together as colorectal cancer.

The American Cancer Society calculates that close to 150,000 original instances of colon cancer are detected each year. Fortunately, colorectal cancer is easily identifiable by colonoscopy and, when detected quickly, the likelihood of treating it is extremely favorable. To discover a colonoscopy doctor near you and schedule a colorectal cancer exam, contact Arizona Digestive Health in Phoenix, AZ.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and Arizona Digestive Health hopes to provide you with the key things you should understand concerning colorectal cancer to help keep you and your family well. Keep reading to discover these important facts about colorectal cancer.

#1: Colorectal cancer is the second leading reason for cancer fatalities.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading reason for cancer fatalities among men and women combined. The American Cancer Society theorizes that roughly 52,000 men and women will pass away from colorectal cancer in 2022. Because of routine colorectal cancer screenings and colorectal cancer awareness across the nation, colorectal cancer fatalities are decreasing. Unfortunately, it is estimated that around one-third of Americans are not up to date on their regular colonoscopy tests.

#2: Colon and rectal cancer rates affect men and women similarly.

The American Cancer Society calculates that roughly 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer at some point in the course of their lives. This means that gender is not a colorectal cancer factor of risk; women and men have about an equal chance of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The colorectal cancer risk factors are:

  • Cigarette smoking

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Being obese

  • A family history of colon or rectal cancer

  • Excessive alcohol consumption

  • Being over 45

#3: There might be no signs of colorectal cancer.

Per the Colon Cancer Coalition, about 60% of men and women determined to have colon cancer are diagnosed with a highly progressed illness, possibly because they did not get a colonoscopy until there were symptoms of an issue. Patients in the early phases of colon and rectal cancer may not present any symptoms of the disease. When colon cancer does display signs, it is generally highly progressed. If you are experiencing indicators of colorectal cancer, they might likely be:

  • Bloody stool

  • Inexplicable weight reduction

  • Abdominal distress or irritation

  • A new change in bowel habits, like persistent diarrhea or prolonged constipation

  • Tiredness

If you or a family member is suffering these concerning colon and rectal cancer symptoms, get in touch with a gastrointestinal specialist in Phoenix, AZ and schedule a colonoscopy as promptly as feasible. You can connect with a GI specialist by contacting Arizona Digestive Health.

#4: When detected early on, colorectal cancer is highly treatable.

Colon tumors can take as long as 10 – 15 years to become cancerous. Precancerous growths can be excised long before they start to develop into cancer, which makes colon cancer immensely avoidable in contrast to other cancers. Patients diagnosed with localized, early-stage colorectal cancer have a significantly better prognosis than men and women whose colorectal cancer has spread. The five-year survival rate for limited colon cancer is approximately 90%. When diagnosed late, the five-year odds of survival drop down to less than 10%. Please do not wait for symptoms to be tested.

#5: You should initiate regular colon cancer screenings at 45 years of age.

If you have an average chance for colon and rectal cancer, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends having an initial colonoscopy by age 45 and then once every ten years if no irregularities are identified. Individuals with a higher risk of colon and rectal cancer can schedule regular colonoscopies around every 3 – 5 years or as advised by a GI doctor. Several home-screening options for colorectal cancer testing have been approved by the FDA, but the colonoscopy is still the gold standard for the discovery and prevention of colon and rectal cancer.

Visit a GI physician in Phoenix, AZ

If you require your routine colon and rectal cancer exam, please talk to Arizona Digestive Health as soon as possible. We can put you in touch with a nearby GI doctor who will prioritize your comfort and care. People facing colorectal cancer and other GI diseases can put their faith in our doctor-led network of gastrointestinal physicians in Phoenix, AZ. If you want to understand more about the fight against colon cancer and or make an appointment for a colonoscopy, get in touch with Arizona Digestive Health today.