FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — November is Colon Cancer Awareness Month.
Colon Cancer is a disease that affects the colon and typically occurs in older adults, although it can happen at any age. It can be deadly, but it is also preventable. Signs and symptoms of Colon Cancer include:
- A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool
- Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
- Persistent abdominal discomforts, such as cramps, gas or pain
- A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
- Weakness or fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
While some people are at higher risk, like those with a family history of colon cancer, doctors say exercising and keeping a healthy diet that is full of green leafy vegetables, low in processed and red meats, and rich in fiber, is the best way to prevent the disease.
“What we find is that the consumption of red meat, fried meat, and a diet high increases the risk in fat a diet high in red meat, and high in fat increases the risk of colon cancer,” said Medical Director at Frederick Health Medical Group, Dr. Patrick Mansky. “The same and there’s some correlation with that and obesity. “
If you are under the age of 50 and have no family history of colon cancer and you experience symptoms including abdominal pain, blood in the stool, narrowing stools, or a change in bowel habits, you should consider speaking to your health care provider.