Celebrating colon cancer awareness in March might not be on the top of your list of things to do, but the conditions that your hemorrhoids stem from might also be increasing your chances for colon cancer.
While you might think that hemorrhoids are the only condition stemming from your obesity or sedentary lifestyle, you could be mistaken. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are also known to increase one’s chance of colon cancers, so if you haven’t corrected the causes of your hemorrhoids talk to a physician to see if you need to be screened for colon cancer.
Also, if you think you have hemorrhoids due to symptoms but haven’t been diagnosed yet, know that colon cancer and hemorrhoids share many of the same symptoms. Make it your mission this March to contact your physician about getting a colonoscopy if you the following describes you:
- Being 50 or older
- Colorectal polyps or cancer in yourself of a close relative
- You have or have had inflammatory bowel disease.
- Abdominal pain or tenderness in the lower abdomen
- Bloody stool, either bright red or very dark
- Diarrhea, constipation or other changes in bowel functions
- Intestinal obstruction
- Narrower than normal stools
- Unexplained anemia
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bloating, fullness or cramps
The fact is that colon cancer screenings save lives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 60 percent of colon cancer deaths in people age 50 and up could be avoided by regular screenings.
So, if you haven’t been diagnosed with hemorrhoids don’t assume your anal bleeding is from hemorrhoids. If it is your hemorrhoids that are causing the bleeding, it’s important to seek treatment if your hemorrhoids are particularly severe, or if they recur frequently.
Overall, maintaining a healthy weight and following a sensible plan for diet and exercise can help you prevent colon cancer and hemorrhoids, so take advantage of March to get yourself on the path to good digestive health!