JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - If you have a history of colon cancer in your family and are around 45 years old —don’t let this month go by without talking to your doctor.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have unfortunately missed their colonoscopy appointments which could lead to more deaths in the coming years, according to health experts.
UMMC Director of Cancer Center and Research Institute Dr. Roy Duhe said that cancer tends to develop in most people around their 4th or 5th decade of life.
The advantage of a colonoscopy is that it catches precancerous polyps, which you can not feel. That is why it is imperative to take a precautionary approach so it doesn’t sneak up on you.
“The things you can control have to do with diet, and that includes consumption of red meat and process meats,” said Dr. Duhe. “Those tend to increase risk in contrast to (a) diet that has a lot of fruits, vegetables and plant-based fibers (which) will reduce the risk for colorectal cancer.”
Doctors say it’s all about communication. Go to your appointment with a list of things that have been going on.
Don’t be shy to share information because this could save your life!
Signs and Symptoms:
- Change in bowel habits (intermittent or constant diarrhea and or constipation)
- Persistent stomach discomfort (can feel like cramps or a full bloated feeling)
- Rectal bleeding
- Unexplained weight loss