While any kind of cancer diagnosis is jarring, colon cancer can cause a particular jolt, as it doesn’t cause symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage. However, it is important to note certain prevention methods for colon cancer, as well as treatment options if it is diagnosed. Valley Medical Care, a family practice in Juneau, AK, can provide further information on both.
There is nothing that can guarantee the prevention of colon cancer, but its risks can be minimized in a number of ways. Once you hit the age of 50, go for a cancer screening every year so that if abnormal cells are present, they can be detected and treated early. Make sure that you are maintaining not only a healthy diet that limits the consumption of red and processed meat, but a healthy weight as well; obesity has been linked to a number of cancers, including colon cancer. Make exercising for at least 30 minutes each day a priority, as exercise can naturally lower your risk of multiple illnesses. Smoking and drinking are obvious risk factors that should be minimized—if not completely eliminated—from your lifestyle. Finally, be sure that you are taking in adequate amounts of calcium (1,000 milligrams) and vitamin D (1,000 IU) daily, either from your diet or from supplements.
If you are diagnosed with colon cancer, your doctor can offer treatment options depending on which stage the cancer has progressed to. In early stage colon cancer, surgery can suffice to get rid of small tumors, and is supplemented with chemotherapy drugs. If the colon cancer has advanced to later stages or has spread to other areas of the body, treatment can sometimes require removing parts of the large intestine or a colostomy, where a surgeon creates a “waste bag” in the abdomen as an alternative to waste passing through the rectum. This is then supplemented by chemotherapy.
Whether you’re looking for prevention tips or treatment options, you’ll need access to an experienced and compassionate doctor to help you through. For an appointment at Valley Medical Care, call the staff at (907) 586-2434 or visit their website.