Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the US.
The majority of these cancers and deaths could be prevented by applying existing knowledge about cancer prevention, increasing the use of recommended screening tests, and ensuring that all patients receive timely, standard treatment.
Screening has the potential to prevent colorectal cancer because it can detect precancerous growths, called polyps, in the colon and rectum.
The American Cancer Society has identified colorectal cancer as a major priority because the application of existing knowledge has such great potential to prevent cancer, diminish suffering, and save lives.
Most insurances cover colorectal screening, with no cost to the patient.
Heartburn is an irritation of the esophagus that is caused by stomach acid.
Abdominal pain can be a symptom of many conditions. Because it could be something serious, you should see a doctor to evaluate abdominal pain. Treatments will depend on the cause of the pain.
Cirrhosis is a serious degenerative disease that occurs when healthy cells in the liver are damaged and replaced by scar tissue, usually as a result of alcohol abuse or chronic hepatitis. As liver cells give way to tough scar tissue, the organ loses its ability to function properly.
Barrett's esophagus is sometimes caused as a complication of GERD in which the esophagus tissue is damaged by acid from the stomach. People with Barrett's esophagus are more at risk for developing esophageal cancer, although the risk is small. Treatments for Barrett's esophagus include lifestyle changes, medications, photodynamic therapy, endoscopic mucosal resection, and surgery.
Rectal bleeding (or blood in the stool) is a symptom of a problem, usually something that can be controlled. Hemorrhoids or diarrhea sometimes can cause bloody stool. Other possible causes include stomach ulcers, colon polyps, infections, Crohn's disease, and many others. Rectal bleeding should be examined by your doctor to find the cause and decide on treatments.
Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, which sits behind the stomach. The pancreas plays an important role in helping you digest foods. Pancreatitis may be caused by gallstones, genetics, infections, injury, certain medications, or heavy alcohol use. Symptoms include pain in the upper belly area, which may spread to the back and get worse after eating, nausea, and vomiting.
Diverticulosis is a condition that is characterized by pouches forming in the colon. It is not to be confused with diverticulitis, which involves infection and inflammation. Symptoms usually are not present until diverticulitis develops.
Diverticulitis is a sometimes painful condition that develops when pouches (diverticula) that form in the wall of the colon, part of the large intestine, become inflamed or infected. Symptoms may include stomach pain, fever, bloating, diarrhea, and nausea. Doctors aren't sure what causes diverticulitis. But they think that a low-fiber diet may play a role.
Hemorrhoids are swollen rectal blood vessels and can occur internally or externally. External hemorrhoids can be very painful. Hemorrhoids are common, affecting almost half of people in the U.S. at some point. Common causes include pregnancy, obesity, or other means of abdominal pressure. Eating fiber decreases your chances of getting hemorrhoids. Treatments may include sitz baths, a high-fiber diet, or medical procedures.
IBS is a mix of belly discomfort or pain and trouble with bowel habits: either going more or less often than normal (diarrhea or constipation) or having a different kind of stool (thin, hard, or soft and liquid). It’s not life-threatening, and it doesn't make you more likely to get other colon conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or colon cancer. But IBS can be a long-lasting problem that changes how you live your life.
Colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can cause pain, inflammation, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. Diagnosing colitis may include tests such as a colonoscopy, barium enema, or stool samples. Treatments range from over-the-counter medications to surgery.
Every organ and tissue in your body needs oxygen to work. Red blood cells are the transport system that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. When you have anemia, your body doesn’t have enough of these blood cells. You get iron deficiency anemia when your body is low in iron. You need iron to make hemoglobin -- a protein that helps your red blood cells carry oxygen. Without enough oxygen in your blood, and you may feel tired, weak, and short of breath. Your doctor will find out why your iron is low. Usually, you can treat iron deficiency anemia with supplements. Once your iron levels increase, you should start to feel better.
Though gas and bloating can be painful, they are normal conditions that often occur during digestion. Certain foods and beverages may cause you to experience these more than others. Medical conditions such as lactose intolerance and medications may also cause gas and bloating. Besides adjusting your diet, some medications may also help treat gas and bloating.
Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) means it takes more time and effort to move food or liquid from your mouth to your stomach. Dysphagia may also be associated with pain. In some cases, swallowing may be impossible. Occasional difficulty swallowing, which may occur when you eat too fast or don't chew your food well enough, usually isn't cause for concern. But persistent dysphagia may indicate a serious medical condition requiring treatment. Dysphagia can occur at any age, but it's more common in older adults. The causes of swallowing problems vary, and treatment depends on the cause.
Dyspepsia is a general term for stomach discomfort. Symptoms of dyspepsia include: burping, nausea after eating, stomach fullness or bloating, upper abdominal pain and discomfort.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease characterized by severe, chronic inflammation of the intestinal wall or any portion of the gastrointestinal tract. The lower portion of the small intestine (ileum) and the rectum are most commonly affected by this disorder. Symptoms may include watery diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and weight loss. The symptoms of Crohn’s disease can be difficult to manage and proper diagnosis is often delayed. The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown.