Fight Colorectal Cancer - It’s Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and with that we’d like to help you learn more about this type of cancer and what you can do to fight it. It’s a type of cancer that many people just don’t want to talk about, but talking about it can help save lives! Did you know? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the following are quick facts about Colorectal Cancer
- Risk increases with age. More than 90% of colorectal cancers occur in people aged 50 and older.
- Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. You could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it. That is why having a screening test is so important. If you have symptoms, they may include—
- Blood in or on the stool (bowel movement).
- Stomach pain, aches, or cramps that do not go away.
- Losing weight and you don’t know why.
- These symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer. If you have any of them, see your doctor.
- Some people are at a higher risk than others for developing colorectal cancer. If you think you may be at increased risk, talk to your doctor about when to begin screening, which test is right for you, and how often to get tested.
- There are several screening test options. Talk with your doctor about which is right for you.
- Colonoscopy (every 10 years).
- High-sensitivity guaiac fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical test (FIT) (every year).
- Sigmoidoscopy (every 10 years, with FOBT or FIT every three years).
- Sigmoidoscopy alone (every 5 years).
- Stool DNA test (FIT-DNA) every one or three years.
- CT colonography (or virtual colonoscopy) every five years.
- If you’re aged 50 to 75, get screened for colorectal cancer regularly. If you’re between 76 and 85, ask your doctor if you should be screened.
- Be physically active.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol.
- Don’t smoke.
Prostate Cancer With June being Men’s health awareness month, we’d like to discuss prostate cancer in this blog post. Prostate cancer has become one of the most common cancers found in men and it’s an important point of discussion and something everyone should be aware of. Here are a few things to know about the prostate and prostate cancer:
- The prostate is a gland found only in men. It is about the size of a walnut and sits below the bladder.
- Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men. One in seven men in the United States will be diagnosed with the disease in his lifetime.
- Compared to other men, African-American men and men with a family history of the disease are at higher risk of developing prostate cancer. A man with a father or brother who had prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop the disease.
- The BRCA 1/2 mutation is also believed to increase prostate cancer risk.
- Age: Aggressive prostate cancer is virtually nonexistent in men under 40. With age, however, the chance of developing prostate cancer increases. Nearly two-thirds of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over 65, and nearly one-half of prostate cancer deaths occur in men initially diagnosed after 75.
- Race: Prostate cancer is about twice as common among African-American men as it is among white American men.
- Diet: Epidemiological data suggest that the diet consumed in industrialized Western countries may be a factor in developing prostate cancer. Consider the following information regarding diet and its effect on the risk for prostate cancer:
- Fat: Some studies suggest that men who eat a high-fat diet, especially if it is high in red meat or high-fat dairy products, may have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer.
- Fruits and vegetables: Diets high in fruits and vegetables may lower prostate cancer risk, although it is not clear which nutrient(s) may be responsible for this.
- Carotenoids: Carotenoids, such as lycopenes, have been shown to inhibit the growth of human prostate cancer cells grown in the laboratory. The primary source of lycopenes is processed tomatoes. Again, however, it is not clear if lycopenes affect prostate cancer risk in men, as not all studies have found a benefit.
The most important thing you can do to prevent cervical cancer is to be screened regularly. Your women’s wellness exam will often include the Pap test (pap smear) and the human papillomavirus (HPV) test, which detects HPV, the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, are used to detect cervical cancer. Pap tests can find abnormal cells that may turn into cervical cancer. Removal of the abnormal cells prevents cervical cancer. Pap tests can also find cervical cancer early, when the chance of being cured is very high. In addition to the Pap test, the HPV test may be used for screening women who are 30 years old or older, or at any age for those who have unclear Pap test results. It also is used to provide more information when Pap test results are unclear for women aged 21 and older. Women should receive a Pap test starting within three years after becoming sexually active, or no later than age 21. If you are between 21 and 29 years old, it is important for you to continue getting a Pap test as directed by your doctor. Screening should be done every 2 to 3 years. At age 30, Pap and HPV test frequency can drop to every 5 years. This is called co-testing and should continue until age 65, according to the American Cancer Society. If you are older than 65 and have had a normal Pap test for several years, or if you had your cervix removed (for a non-cancerous condition, such as fibroids), your doctor may recommend discontinuing the Pap test. If you haven’t had your Pap test, it is important that you do so. Women need to be proactive in their own health care!
You know fruit and veggies are healthy food options, but have you thought about other good foods that have health benefits, including helping cancer prevention foods. Here’s what to put in your cart: Produce: Fruits and vegetables protect against a variety of cancers, such as those of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus and lungs. Produce is high in fiber, which has been shown to reduce inflammation and help maintain a healthy digestive tract, among other benefits. For example, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, collard greens, and cauliflower can all turn on genes that slow cancer cell growth. Whole grains and fiber: Eating 6 ounces of whole-grain foods such as 100 percent whole-wheat bread each day may decrease your colorectal cancer risk by 21 percent. Oatmeal, a 100 percent whole-grain food, has been shown to reduce inflammation and could reduce your cancer risk. Eating as few as 10 grams of fiber per day may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by 10 percent — so look for cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. Beans and peas: Dry beans and peas, such as kidney beans and split peas, contain health-promoting substances that may protect against cancer. These powerhouse foods are rich in fiber, protein and folate. They also contain phytochemicals that increase the destruction of cancer cells. Coffee: Even one cup of coffee per day could decrease your risk of endometrial and liver cancer by 7 to 14 percent. Drinking more may be additionally beneficial. Coffee speeds cancer-causing substances through your digestive tract and contains phytochemicals. Nuts: Walnuts and almonds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and phytochemicals that can decrease inflammation and damage from free radicals — harmful molecules that can lead to cancer. Talk to your doctor about additional foods you should be adding to your cart to keep you healthy.
What is Colorectal cancer? And why should we care about it? Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer. Colorectal cancer affects people in all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people age 50 and older. The good news? If everyone age 50 and older were screened regularly, 6 out of 10 deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to encourage people to get screened. March is Colorectal cancer awareness month. The more people know about it, the better! If you have questions about colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor about getting screened. And if you are 50 and older schedule your screening today!
Next month is breast cancer awareness month. Get ready to spread the word. Do you really know what cancer is? Take a look at the National Breast Cancer Foundation's informative video below outlining the facts about what cancer is.
In an effort to bring attention to the ongoing cancer survivorship and show the world that life after cancer can be rewarding and inspiring, millions are gathering around the world in their local communities to observe National Cancer Survivors day across the United States. National Cancer Survivors Day® is an annual worldwide Celebration of Life that is held on the first Sunday in June. It is the one day each year when everyone joins forces to recognize the cancer survivors living in our communities and raise awareness of the ongoing challenges they face. NCSD also provides an opportunity for cancer survivors to connect with other survivors, celebrate the milestones they’ve achieved, and acknowledge the family members, friends, and healthcare professionals who have supported them along the way. The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation encourages everyone to participate in their community's event. To locate the one nearest you, check with your local cancer treatment center, hospital, or American Cancer Society office. Help support your celebrate and support your cancer surviving friends and family.