When you have a family history of cancer, you should be extra careful about your health. Cancers run in families and colon cancer is considered to be the second deadliest disease in the United States. Therefore, if your family has witnessed colon cancer cases, make sure that you are taking precautions for yourself.
If you are not familiar with colon cancer and you want an easy guide to explain to you what you should be doing, then you have landed at the right place. So let’s read!
What Is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer, is a type of cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. If this cancer starts in the rectum, then it is referred to as rectal cancer. It is the growth of abnormal body cells that causes various health-related issues, ultimately leading to death.
How Colorectal Cancer Can Spread?
Colorectal cancer starts to develop in the innermost wall of the colon or rectum and is called a polyp. This polyp starts to grow and spread to the outer walls.
When the polyp comes in contact with the blood vessels, it can enter the blood vessels. Once the cancer cells have entered the blood vessels, you can never know how fast they can spread in the entire body, and which organ they may affect next. That is why, once cancer cells have entered the blood, it becomes very hard, almost impossible to control it.
Things To Do If Your Family Has A History Of Colorectal Cancer
Just like hair type, eye color, and other body features are transferred from parents to offspring, colorectal cancer can also run in families. If your grandparents, uncles, aunties, or anyone in your family has suffered from colorectal cancer, then you should be extra careful.
When cancer runs in your family, then you should know that,
- You have a chance of developing cancer
- If you have developed cancer, it can spread faster than other patients with no family history
- You can have cancer at a young age
- Colorectal cancer may grow in multiple areas of the colon or rectum.
Here are some things that you can do if your family has a history of colorectal cancer.
1. Get Screening Tests
If your family has a history, then you should get a FIT test. Screening tests can help you have a fair idea of whether you have any signs of cancer cell development or not. If you have not developed cancer cells, you can have mental peace for yourself and your family.
If you have, unfortunately, developed colon cancer, you can check which stage you are at. Regular screening tests can help you detect cancer at an early age when it can be cured easily. If you are not getting regular screening tests, you might detect cancer when it is too late.
2. Watch Your Diet
As the saying goes, you are what you eat. Therefore, watch out for the food that you are eating. When your genetic makeup is exposed to cancer cell development, it would be wise to avoid carcinogens at all costs.
You should consider eating more food that can help you avoid cancer cell development, and also help you build stronger immunity. For example, anti-oxidative food items can be a good choice. You should include fresh fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, lemons, and other such food items
3. Watch Your Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can help you avoid cancer cell development. Obesity itself is associated with cancer cell development as your body has reduced immunity and your body can not filter out cancerous cells.
Maintaining a healthy weight can help you avoid colorectal cancer.
4. Be More Physically Active
Physical activity can help you have a healthier lifestyle, that in turn helps you avoid cancer and other deadly diseases. Make sure that you are keeping yourself physically active.
Physical activity can also help you improve your immunity. When your immune system is strong, it can prevent cancer cell development and protect you from getting sick. Make sure that you are involving yourself in some sort of physical activity such as running, walking, swimming, bicycling, etc.
5. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol can aid cancer cell development. When you are consuming too much alcohol, your immunity can become weaker, which provides a free opportunity for cancer cells to develop and spread in the body.
Reducing alcohol consumption can help you prevent colorectal cancer.
6. Maintain Your Mental Health
Your mental fitness is equally important as your physical health. Do not let negative thoughts take over your mind. Most cancer patients are successful in the recovery process because of their strong will and positive attitude.
You can channel your thoughts and fears in different ways, such as starting a blog, going to therapy, talking to your friends or family, etc.