Colorectal health is critical to overall well-being, as the colon and rectum play vital roles in digestion and waste elimination. Colorectal conditions encompass a wide range of issues, from common concerns like constipation and hemorrhoids to more serious conditions such as colorectal cancer, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and diverticular disease.
Regular screenings and preventive measures are essential for maintaining colorectal health. Colonoscopies and other screening tests can help detect potential issues early when they are most treatable. Lifestyle factors, including a balanced diet rich in fiber, regular exercise, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption, can contribute to good colorectal health.
If you experience symptoms such as persistent abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, blood in the stool, or unexplained weight loss, it's crucial to seek medical attention promptly, as these could be signs of underlying colorectal conditions.
Colorectal specialists, often called gastroenterologists or colorectal surgeons, are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of colorectal disorders, and they can work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
At Methodist Hospital Landmark, we prioritize colorectal health and offer a range of services to diagnose, treat, and support patients facing colorectal conditions. Our dedicated team of experts is committed to helping you maintain or regain your colorectal health, ensuring your overall well-being.
Colorectal cancer risk factors [h2]
Anything increasing your chance of getting colorectal cancer is a risk factor. Colorectal cancer risk factors include:
- Age: More than 75 percent of colorectal cancer cases are diagnosed in patients 55 years old and older. The median age at diagnosis is 66 years old. However, the rate of colorectal cancer diagnosed in adults less than 55 years old has increased in recent years.
- Race: African-Americans have the highest rate of colorectal cancer among all racial groups in the U.S.
- Family history: People whose relatives have had colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps have an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
- Inflammatory bowel disease: Patients with conditions that include Crohn’s disease or chronic ulcerative colitis are more likely to develop colon cancer.
- Personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps: People who have previously had colorectal cancer or colon polyps are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- Hereditary cancer syndromes: Some genetic changes can be inherited and increase your risk for certain types of cancer. Inherited syndromes, including hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, or Lynch syndrome, and familial adenomatous polyposis may put you at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer.
- Diet: A diet heavy in red meat, processed meats, or meats cooked at very high heat can increase a person’s colon cancer risk.
- Obesity: Obesity increases a person’s chance of developing many different diseases, including colorectal cancer.
- Sedentary lifestyle: A lack of movement and exercise is a risk factor for colorectal cancer.
- Tobacco: Tobacco use, including cigarettes and chewing tobacco, is a colorectal cancer risk factor.
- Drinking too much alcohol: Heavy drinkers are at an increased risk for colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer at Methodist Healthcare
Colorectal cancer is found in the colon or rectum. It is represented by the growth of polyps in the lower portion of the digestive tract, which can become cancerous. Colorectal cancer is often treated with chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. Colonoscopies are performed as screening measures to identify potential polyps.Learn about Colorectal cancer