Having been diagnosed with colorectal cancer back in 2005, I felt it was worth addressing the fourth most common type of cancer in the United States.
Most people believe colorectal cancer only affects the older population. However, according to the American Cancer Society, anyone can develop colon cancer.
How does someone get colon cancer? The American Cancer Society suggests a diet that’s high in red meats and processed meats may contribute. Also, if you have a family member who has had colon cancer, this may increase your risk. If this is the case, regular colon screenings starting at age 45 or younger may be necessary. Smoking, lack of exercise, and a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables are all risk factors.
For the most part, colon cancer is treatable and not necessarily a death sentence.
If you are interested in learning more about this disease — the risks, signs and symptoms, as well as treatment, visit the American Cancer Society’s website. There is a wealth of information regarding this topic as well as when to see a doctor. If you see any blood in your stool or any unexplained pain or changes in bodily functions, this should be brought to the attention of your family physician as soon as possible.
After my own diagnosis of stage 3 cancer, I started on a very aggressive treatment plan. Many thanks to the care of wonderful doctors and a wealth of prayers said on my behalf have helped me heal.
For myself, I had been doing everything right — eating a healthy diet, exercising daily, I never smoked, and didn’t have much of a family history of cancer. So why me? Just the way the dice rolls sometimes, I guess.
By parishioner Christine Smits, SEAS Health & Wellness Committee