March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and Boiling Springs Family Medicine physician Dr. Chad Jumper took some time to talk about this type of cancer.
Q: What is colorectal cancer and what parts of the body does it affect?
A: “Colorectal cancer is a cancer of the larger part of the bowel (colon) or the rectum.”
Q: What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?
A: “Symptoms of colorectal cancer can include abdominal pain; a change in the frequency, texture or size of your bowel movements; blood in your bowel movements; and fatigue.”
Q: Is there a certain demographic most likely to get this type of cancer?
A: “Colorectal cancer risk increases with age, occurring very rarely in those under age 40. Lower socioeconomic status is another risk factor for colorectal cancer.”
Q: How common is colorectal cancer compared to other types of cancer?
A: “This type of cancer occurs frequently, making it the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and the second in women.”
Q: What can someone do to catch it early?
A: “Early detection can be achieved by making one’s physician aware of any of the symptoms listed above and taking part in colon cancer screening. Screening can be performed by colonoscopy, CT scans, and stool tests for blood or DNA. The appropriate test and age at which to begin screening depends on one’s family history and should be determined by a discussion with your primary care provider.”