Actress Kirstie Alley, best known for her role in “Cheers,” died at the age of 71 on Monday from colon cancer. According to a release of his family, the cancer was recently discovered.
According to American Cancer Societythe cancer colorectal is the one that originates in the colon or the rectum. These cancers may also be called colon cancer or rectal (rectal) cancer depending on where they originate. cancer colon and rectal cancer are often grouped together because they have many common features.
Colon cancer usually affects older adults, although it can occur at any age. It usually begins as small, noncancerous (benign) groups of cells called polyps that form inside the colon. Over time, some of these polyps can turn into colon cancer.
The colon is a portion of the large intestine. The rectum is the canal that connects the colon to the anus.
Polyps can be small and cause few or no symptoms. For this reason, doctors recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer by identifying and removing polyps before they turn into cancer.
Colon cancer signs and symptoms include the following:
- A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation,
- or a change in the consistency of your stools
- Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
- Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas, or pain
- A feeling that the intestine does not empty completely
- weakness or fatigue
- Weight loss without apparent cause
If colon cancer does develop, there are many treatments available to help control it, including surgery, radiation therapy, and drug treatments such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.
The Mayo Clinicpublished a series of Risk factors that can increase the risk of contracting the disease:
- African American race. African Americans have a higher risk of colon cancer than people of other races.
- Personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps. If you’ve already had colon cancer or non-cancerous colon polyps, you have a higher risk of developing colon cancer in the future.
- Inflammatory intestinal affections. Chronic inflammatory diseases of the colon, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, can increase the risk of colon cancer.
- Inherited syndromes that increase the risk of colon cancer. Some gene mutations passed down through generations of your family can significantly increase your risk of colon cancer. Only a small percentage of colon cancer cases are linked to inherited genes. The most common inherited syndromes that increase the risk of colon cancer are familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and Lynch syndrome, also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC).
- Family history of colon cancer. You are more likely to develop colon cancer if you have a blood relative who has had the disease. If more than one family member has colon or rectal cancer, your risk is even higher.
- Diet low in fiber and high in fat. Colon cancer and rectal cancer may be associated with a typical Western diet, which is low in fiber and high in fat and calories. Research in this area has had mixed results. Some studies have found an increased risk of colon cancer in people whose diets are high in red meat and processed meat.
- A sedentary lifestyle. Inactive people are more likely to develop colon cancer. Getting regular physical activity can reduce the risk of colon cancer.
- Diabetes. People with diabetes or insulin resistance are at increased risk of colon cancer.
- Obesity. Obese people have a higher risk of colon cancer and a higher risk of dying from colon cancer compared to people considered normal weight.
- smoking. People who smoke may be at increased risk of colon cancer.
- Alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of colon cancer.
- Radiotherapy against cancer. Radiation therapy to the abdomen to treat previous cancers increases the risk of colon cancer.
Lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of colon cancer
There are certain steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting colon cancer.
- Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, which may play a role in cancer prevention. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables, so that you incorporate various vitamins and nutrients.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount you drink to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
- Stop smoking. Talk to your doctor about ways to stop doing it that might work for you.
- He exercises almost every day of the week. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days. If you’ve been inactive, start slowly and gradually build up to 30 minutes. Also, check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If you’re currently at a healthy weight, work to maintain it through a combination of a healthy diet and daily physical activity. If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor about healthy ways to achieve your goal. Try to lose weight slowly by increasing the amount of physical activity you do and reducing the number of calories you eat.