Did you know that colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among men in the United States? Colorectal cancer can affect anyone, but it is more likely to occur in men over 50. June is men's health awareness month, a necessary time to consider your health if you're a man over 45. That's why all men need regular colonoscopies to check for abnormalities.
What is colorectal cancer?
The colon and rectum are part of the large intestine and the digestive system. Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. It can sometimes spread to other body parts, like the liver or lungs.
There are many different types of colorectal cancer, but the most common are adenocarcinoma and carcinoma. Adenocarcinoma starts in cells that line the inside of the colon or rectum. Carcinoma begins in the cells that cover the surface of these organs.
Seven facts about colorectal cancer
There are many risk factors for colorectal cancer, but some are more common in men than others. Some of the most common risk factors for men include:
Age: Colorectal cancer is more likely to occur in men over 50.
Diet: A poor diet can increase your risk of colorectal cancer. Men who eat a lot of red and processed meat are more likely to develop the disease. According to current research, red meat contains naturally occurring substances that cause it to be carcinogenic. N-nitroso compounds are produced when haem is broken down in the intestines, and they have been found to damage cells in the bowel, which can lead to bowel cancer.
Obesity: High levels of C-reactive protein have previously been linked to an increased rate of colorectal cancer in several studies. Obese men have altered hormone function, which can influence how their bodies use energy and react to food, making them a risk factor for colon cancer. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels in the body. Obese individuals have higher amounts of insulin than those with an average weight, resulting in erratic cell growth in the colon as insulin activates abnormal cell growth.
Lack of Exercise: Regular exercise increases antioxidant levels and DNA repair. It may also affect growth factor production, insulin metabolism, inflammation, and immune function. According to the National Cancer Institute, most people who engage in moderate activity can reduce their risk of colon cancer by 24 percent.
Smoking: Because inhaling pollutants and poisons into your body creates free radicals, damaging DNA and transforming good cells, you are more likely to get colon cancer if you smoke. If they aren't stopped, free radicals might promote the development of precancerous polyps in the large intestine, resulting in cancer.
Alcoholism: When you consume alcohol, your body breaks it down and forms acetaldehyde, a carcinogen. Acetaldehyde may damage DNA in the colon cells and produce mutations that boost the incidence of polyps.
Genetics: Inherited gene mutations are responsible for a tiny proportion of colorectal cancers. Many of these DNA changes and their impacts on cell growth are now understood. Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), attenuated FAP (AFAP), and Gardner syndrome are all caused by inherited changes in the APC gene.
How is colorectal cancer detected and treated?
There are many different ways to detect and treat colorectal cancer. The most common way to see the disease is by getting a regular colonoscopy. During a colonoscopy, a doctor will look for any abnormalities in the colon and rectum.
Men should get regular colonoscopies to check for any abnormalities. If colorectal cancer is detected early, it can often be treated with surgery. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be needed if cancer has spread to other body parts. Early detection is key to treating the disease successfully.
Needham Gastroenterology Associates Screens For Colorectal Cancer
Needham Gastroenterology Associate professionals are here to help you with your gut health needs. We encourage you to contact us and set up an appointment to help with screening, diagnosis, and treatment.