Colon Cancer: The Silent Killer

Colorectal cancer, sometimes referred to as colon rectal cancer or colon cancer, is a "silent killer." In this article on colorectal cancer, we provide you with information about colorectal cancer to help you understand this deadly form of cancer.

Most of us probably know someone who has passed on way too early in their lives. Some may not have had a choice, while others might have been able to do something to prevent dying so young. It is especially disturbing when any person is taken by something that could have been detected early and possibly prevented altogether. If this is the circumstance, loved ones are often left with the question of "What if?" Those two words can tear people and families apart. They're left wondering if they might have been able to do something to help save their loved one. This is especially true of the silent killer known as colorectal cancer. This "life robber " is especially dangerous because it does not discriminate between men or women, doctors or lawyers, firefighters or homemakers, rich or poor. It is an equal opportunity disease and killer, and one which we can, and must, defeat.

He Had It All

We all probably know someone like Ed. He was a person who seemed to have it all — a wonderful family, a thriving business, a nice home, very loyal friends and relatives who truly loved and respected him. When Ed walked into a room, it lit up from his love for people, energy for life and his bubbly personality. Yep, Ed had it all, including the deadly silent killer, colon cancer. This disease snuck up on him and took his life at the young age of 54. Sadly, Ed's untimely death may have been prevented if he had just taken the time to get a colorectal screening when he turned 50 — a key age to begin this preventive health check.

Is Colon Health a Big Problem?

Sure, talking about bowels, colons and rectums can be awkward, but guess what? They are part of life. Ignoring this subject can lead to an early death — a death that could possibly have been prevented. Years back, both prostate and breast health were topics the general population were hesitant to talk about. Now, there is great public awareness on these topics and, as a result, lives are being saved. It's time the topic of colon and rectal health was brought to the forefront of public awareness. The reason? Excluding skin cancer, the American Cancer Society (ACS) states that colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States, as well as the second leading cause of cancer death in our country. In fact, the ACS estimates that about 147,500 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed in 2003, and sadly, this disease will take the lives of more than 57,100 in this very same year. These numbers make it a true public health problem, even though a large percentage of colorectal cancer could have been, and can be, prevented. But there is some good news here: The death rate from this type of cancer has been declining for the past 20 years, perhaps because of increased public awareness, earlier colorectal cancer screenings and better treatment.

See the next page to learn more about risks and symptoms of colon cancer.