Incidents of colorectal cancer increase with age, but symptoms, especially early indicators, are rare. If symptoms are present, they can include:
- Blood in or on the stool (bowel movement).
- Stomach pain, aches, or cramps that do not go away.
- Unexplained weight loss.
Remaining physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, and quitting or not starting smoking are the keys to lowering colorectal cancer. But screenings for precancerous polyps, especially if you are ages 50-75, are the greatest deterrent to colorectal cancer. The types of screenings and their frequency, include:
- Colonoscopy - every 10 years.
- High-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT), stool test, or fecal immunochemical test - every year.
- Sigmoidoscopy - every five years,
with FOBT every three years.