Learn more about the Colorectal Cancer Alliance
The bad news is Colon Cancer doesn’t discriminate when it comes to age. The good news is, when discovered early, it’s highly treatable. Young-onset colorectal cancer is on the rise. Approximately ten percent of new colorectal cancer patients are under the age of 50. A number of organizations, particularly the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, are working hard to learn more about this disease and providing support for those currently in their fight. Be informed and get involved, and together, we can change the face of this disease and redefine the odds.
Being able to recognize the risk factors and symptoms of colon cancer is the first step to early detection. Are you at risk? If you notice any warning signs, don’t be afraid to speak up and schedule an appointment with your GI doctor. Some common warning signs to look for are:
- Rectal bleeding
- Weight loss for no known reason
- Weakness or fatigue
- Nausea or vomiting
- Diarrhea, constipation or narrower stools than usual
- Bowel never feels empty
- Blood in your stool (bright red or very dark)
- Persistent cramps, gas, pain or feeling full or bloated
If one or more of these apply to you, take charge of your health and contact your doctor right away. Screening saves; because there are often no symptoms when colon cancer is first developing, early detection through screening can dramatically reduce your risk. One of the reasons Northeast Digestive created its Open Access program was to make colon cancer screening more accessible and help save lives.
There are many things you can do to benefit colorectal cancer patients, survivors, and family members. When you donate, fundraise or dress in blue, you will help provide support, raise awareness and fund critical research. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance’s mission is to empower a nation of allies who work with them to provide support for patients and families, caregivers, and survivors; to raise awareness of preventative measures; and inspire efforts to fund critical research.
You can also take action by being an advocate in your community. Create your own fundraiser or participate in one locally. Northeast Digestive Health Center is working to combat colon cancer by hosting its first annual 5K Bum Run fundraiser on April 28. All benefits will go to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.
Know the facts, get screened and do your part to help end this devastating disease within our lifetime.