Colon Cancer Risk Factors and Treatment

Excluding skin cancers, colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, occurs when a malignant tumor develops in your large intestine. Each year, approximately 136,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer, but the good news is, it’s a highly treatable form of cancer.

Common colon cancer risk factors

The greatest risk factor for colorectal cancer is age; approximately 90 percent of people suffering from colon cancer are over the age of 50. While the reasons remain unclear, many people may have an increased risk due to genetics (family history), environmental factors or a combination of the two. Here are additional colon cancer risk factors:

  • Being Male
  • African-American heritage
  • Inflammatory conditions of the bowel or intestines
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Low fiber, high fat diet

If you fall into any of the categories above, you are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer during your lifetime. A regular health screening is the best thing you can do to protect yourself from cancers of the colon or rectum. They can help detect colon cancer risk factors, like polyps, before they become cancerous.

Treatment options for colon cancer

There are many treatment options for colon cancer. They include:

  • Surgery
    Often, surgery alone may cure stage 0, I, II, and III colon cancers. Depending on the location and size of the tumor, patients may undergo a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, a colostomy or radiofrequency ablation. Patients may also receive chemotherapy following the surgery, to eliminate any residual cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy
    Electromagnetic, high-energy waves are used to shrink and destroy cancer cells. While the treatment itself is not painful, some may suffer from temporary side effects like fatigue, loss of appetite and skin changes.
  • Chemotherapy
    A schedule of precise injection cycles utilizing a specific combination of drugs, work to eliminate cancer cells that may remain following surgery.

If you or a loved one is in need of high quality, compassionate colorectal cancer treatment in Illinois, contact Alpha Med at 708-342-1900. Our cancer specialists provide a unique degree of compassion and commitment to treatment, taking a patient-first approach as we follow today’s most advanced protocols and use the most effective and proven therapies.