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No Laughing Matter

The Harmful Effects of Colon Cancer

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Analyze Your Brown Surprise

What your poo says about your physical and mental well-being

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The Scoop On Your Poop

The answers to the questions you've been to embarresed to ask

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    Colon Cancer is cancer of the large intestine, or the lower part of your digestive system. It begins as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells that over time become colon cancers.

    Noticeable symptoms of cancer include:

    • bullet01A change in your bowel habits, such as going a couple weeks with a change in the consistency of your poo (diarrhea or constipation).
    • bullet01Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool.
    • bullet01Persistent abdominal discomfort such as cramps.
    • bullet01Feeling like you aren't totally emptying your bowels after using the bathroom.
    • bullet01Weakness, fatigue, or unexplained weight loss.

    If you display any of these symptoms for over a two week period, especially blood in your stool, make an appointment with your doctor. Talk to your doctor about when you should begin regular screenings for colon cancer. It is generally recommended that you begin at age 50.

    Doctors know that colon cancer occurs when healthy cells in the colon become altered. Healthy cells grow and divide in an orderly way to keep your body functioning normally. When this growth gets out of control and the body starts producing more cells than are needed, it may cause precancerous cells to form the lining of your intestine. Over several years time, these cells may become cancerous.

    A small percentage of people inherit the gene that is linked to colon cancer. Inherited genes don't make getting cancer inevitable but it does increase an individual's risk. Some other risks include:

    • bullet01Older age. 90 percent of people diagnosed with colon cancer are over 50.
    • bullet01African-American Race. African Americans have a greater risk than any other race.
    • bullet01Personal history of colon cancer or polyps. If you've had it once already your risk of getting again are greater.
    • bullet01Inflammatory intestinal conditions. Inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease can increase your risk of colon cancer.
    • bullet01Low-fiber, high-fat diet. Colon cancer may be associated with diets low in fiber and high in fat and calories, although study results have been mixed.
    • bullet01A sedentary lifestyle. If you're inactive, you increase your risk of developing colon cancer.
    • bullet01Diabetes. People with diabetes and insulin resistance may have an increased risk of colon cancer.
    • bullet01Obesity. When compared to people with normal weight having colon cancer, obese people have an increased chance of dying.
    • bullet01Alcohol. Heavy alcohol use may increase your risk of colon cancer.
    • bullet01Radiation therapy for cancer. Radiation therapy directed at the abdomen to treat previous cancers may increase your risk of colon cancer.

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