The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


Prevention is an important tool in living a long and healthy life. Are you taking the necessary steps to prevent the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States?

Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (called the colon). Rectal cancer is cancer of the rectum (which is the part of the large intestine closest to the anus). These forms of cancer have many common features. They are often referred to together as colorectal cancer.

“It is important to screen for colorectal cancer to detect early stages of the disease before symptoms occur.  By screening early, we can detect lesions such as polyps, non-polypoid lesions, and other conditions. It’s also good to know that the colorectal area is within normal limits,” said Byron Morales, MD, a family physician in Upper Sandusky.

Those who experience any of the following warning signs should contact their family physician:
• Bleeding from the rectum;

• Blood in the stool or in the toilet after a bowel movement;

• A change in the shape or consistency of your stool (such as diarrhea or constipation lasting several weeks);

• Cramping pain in the lower stomach;

• A feeling of discomfort or an urge to have a bowel movement when there is no need to have one;

• Weakness or fatigue;

• Unintended weight loss.

“Prompt diagnosis and treatment can be performed if problems are detected early or can be caught before it has time to spread,” Dr. Morales said.

“My advice to the public regarding colorectal screening is to have a yearly physical exam and fecal occult blood test (FOBT) with your primary care physician.  If the test is positive, the next step would be to get a screening by a subspecialist. And, if at any time you see any changes in bowel habits or blood in the stool, consult your family physician,” Dr. Morales advised.

In 2011, more than 141,000 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 49,000 were expected to die. The good news is, colorectal cancer rates have been declining since 1998 with 3 percent per year for men and 2.3 percent per year for women.

“You can take simple steps now that are helpful in preventing this disease. Eat a diet high in fiber, exercise, avoid alcohol/cigarettes and maintain a healthy weight,” Dr. Morales said.




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