Page 10 - Scene Magazine September 2023 48-09
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  Health Scene
Medical Oncologist, Bronson Cancer Center
    cancer in the state of Michigan. Tradi- tionally, colorectal cancer has been di- agnosed most commonly in older adults, ages 65+. However, recent studies show this disease is on the rise in younger adults. Cases among people under age 55 has nearly doubled in the last 24 years
• Reduce alcohol consumption. Mod- erate to heavy drinking correlates to an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.
• Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: A flexible sigmoidoscopy is similar to a colonos- copy, inserting a thin, flexible tube into the rectum. The lighted tube allows
the doctor to visually check for polyps or other areas of concern. The doctor
is able to remove most polyps and possible cancer during the screening and have it tested. Unlike a colonosco- py, a flexible sigmoidoscopy is used to check only the rectum and lower third of a colon. This test is performed every five years, or every 10 years when used with an annual FIT test.
– from 11% in 1995 to 20% in 2019.
In fact, colorectal cancer has become
the leading cause of cancer deaths for Americans age 20 to 49, according to the National Cancer Institute!
If you notice one or more of the symp- toms below, talk to your primary care provider. Though they can be a sign of many different health concerns, they are warning signs of colorectal cancer.
Why is Colorectal Cancer on the Rise? While experts have not deter- mined the cause of this increase in young adults, doctors do know there are some specific risk factors.
• A consistent change in your bowel hab- its, including constipation or diarrhea
• Colonoscopy: Like a flexible sig- moidoscopy, a colonoscopy uses a thin, flexible, lighted tube. However, the tube for a colonoscopy is longer, and is able to check the entire colon. Because the colonoscopy is such
Age remains a major risk factor. ACS recommends routine colorectal cancer screenings beginning at age 45. In response to rising rates of colorectal cancer in those younger than 50, the American Cancer Society lowered the recommended age to start screening
at 45 for those at average risk. It had previously recommended screening starting at age 50.
or blood in your stool
• Feeling that your bowel isn’t
Additionally, genetics and family history play a role in colorectal cancer. Those with a family history of colorectal cancer should begin screening 10 years earlier than the age the family member was when they were diagnosed.
Screening Options for Colorectal Cancer – A traditional colonoscopy is not the only screening option to detect colorectal cancer. There are several non-invasive screening tests available. A positive or abnormal result from one of these tests can indicate that a colonosco- py test is needed for a closer view of the colon.
Which test is right for each person is determined on a case-by-case basis. Your primary care provider is your first point of contact for reviewing your current health status, family history, and previous test re- sults. Together, you can decide on the best test for you. At Bronson Battle Creek, your primary care provider will typically refer you to a colorectal specialist or a general surgeon for colonoscopies and other colorectal cancer tests.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with colorectal cancer, trust southwest Mich- igan’s most preferred healthcare system. The experts at the Bronson Cancer Cen- ter offer a comprehensive approach to care, surrounding you with the expertise, technology, resources, and positivity needed along your cancer journey. Learn more at
How to Reduce Your Risk of Colorectal Cancer – While colorectal cancer is often highly treatable, catching it in the early stages plays a large role in the success of treatment. To reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer, particularly at younger ages, consider the following lifestyle changes:
• Maintain a healthy body weight.
This is an at-home test done annually. Using a stool sample collected in at home, tests can be completed to detect abnormal blood in the stool.
Individuals who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk of develop- ing colorectal cancer.
• A FIT-DNA test: This test uses the same technology as the FIT test
to detect blood in a stool sample, while also detecting altered DNA. It requires the collection of an entire bowel movement as opposed to a smaller sampling for the other tests.
• Stay active. It’s important to keep your body healthy through movement.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer that is diagnosed in the United States. In 2020, the CDC reported 3,800 cases of colorectal
Try spending 30 minutes a day, five days a week, participating in physical activity.
This test only needs to be done once
Colorectal Cancer on the Rise in Young Adults
• Maintain a healthy diet. Focus on eating fresh whole foods and reducing processed foods and red and processed meats.
every three years.
• CT Colonography: Also known as
• Quit Smoking. Smoking increases your risk for colorectal, lung, and many other forms of cancer.
a virtual colonoscopy, this test uses X-rays and computers to provide im- ages of the colon. The images are then analyzed by a doctor. A CT colonogra- phy can be performed once every five years.
Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer –
• Abdominal pain
• Bleeding during a bowel movement
completely empty
• Unexplained weight loss
a thorough test, it only needs to be performed once every ten years if the results of the test are normal. It is only done more frequently if an initial colo- noscopy detects polyps or cancer.
• A fecal occult blood test (FOB):
• The fecal immunochemical test (FIT): This is an annual test similar to the fecal occult test. However, FIT tests use antibodies to detect blood in the stool sample.
Exceptional Cancer Treatment –

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