Cancer is the leading cause of death around the world. Every year, approximately 12.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer and 7.6 million of them will die from the disease.
For World Cancer Day in 2017, individuals and organizations are adopting the “We can. I can” approach to cancer. This means that organizations and individuals will both do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.
“We Can” – What Organizations Can Do
Organizations have the power to positively impact their members and the communities they serve. They are encouraged to:
Inspire action. By working together, organizations can call on governments and leaders to to push for actions that will reduce premature deaths, improve quality of life and increase survival rates.
Promote knowledge. Knowledge is power! By equipping the general community with appropriate knowledge of cancer prevention, causes and general lifestyle improvements, individuals will be more likely to make healthy choices.
Work together. The global cancer burden can be eased when government entities, civil groups and the private sector all work together by adopting common goals to prevent cancer.
Create healthy schools & workplaces. Creating environments that encourage healthy behaviors will help to reduce the cancer rate over the long-term.
“I Can” – What You Can Do as an Individual
Make healthy lifestyle choices. Everyone can take steps to reduce their risk of cancer. Simple choices include: quitting smoking, eating a balanced diet and becoming more physically active.
Understand that early detection saves lives. Be sure to make regular visits to your doctor. They will perform tests and exams that could find abnormalities early in their development. In almost all cases, timely treatment greatly impacts cancer survival rates.
Ask for / provide support. For those with cancer, never be afraid to ask for emotional and physical support. If your loved one is living with cancer, try to be available to meet their needs. A positive support structure can make all of the difference in the world when coping with the disease.
Colon and rectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. As people age, the death rates of colon cancer increase. Genetics, inflammatory bowel conditions and poor diet also play a role in increasing colon cancer risk.
Symptoms of Colon Cancer
Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms during the early stages of the disease, but when symptoms do appear, they may include:
- A change in bowel habits that lasts longer than 4 weeks. (Diarrhea or constipation.)
- Rectal bleeding.
- Weakness, fatigue and unexpected weight loss.
- Persistent abdominal pain and discomfort.
Colorectal Cancer Detection
The most important tool for early detection of colon cancer is a colonoscopy. In those with average risk of colon cancer, screenings will begin at age 50, but for high-risk groups, consider being screened around age 45.
During this procedure, the doctor will examine your colon and rectum using a a long, flexible tube with a camera attached to it. If any abnormal areas are found, the doctor will be able to take a sample for testing. If no abnormal areas are found, a colonoscopy will not have to be performed for ten years. If there were polyps or any concerning areas, it may be performed more often.
Treatment for more severe colorectal cancer may involve a colon resection.