ARTICLES ON HEALTH
A Focus on Men’s Health & Colon Cancer
featuring Dr. Nate Compton, General Surgery
In honor of Men’s Health Month, we are celebrating all the fathers and sons in our community by sharing some important wellness tips about colon cancer and how to prevent it.
Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in men, and in fact, men generally get colon cancer at an earlier age than women. According to the American Cancer Society, about 71,000 men and 64,000 women are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the U.S. each year. However, with regular screenings, it can be detected early, which makes the prognosis for a full recovery more favorable.
A colonoscopy screening is recommended for men beginning at age 50, but for anyone with a family history of colon cancer or polyps, a screening should be done earlier, especially if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms. Contact your primary care physician as soon as possible to schedule a screening if symptoms include rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, extreme constipation, changes in your bowel habits or unusual weight gain or loss.
During the procedure, Dr. Compton, general surgeon, will use a small tube with a camera attached to it to examine the inner lining of the large intestine and check for polyps, ulcers, tumors, bleeding or inflammation. If found, polyps can be removed during the surgery. Dr. Compton uses a deep anesthesia, making it possible for the patient to have little discomfort or memory of the procedure.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT THE DEVELOPMENT OF COLON CANCER?
Dr. Compton encourages a high-fiber and low-fat diet rich in leafy green vegetables and lean proteins like chicken and fish. It also is recommended to exercise regularly, maintain a normal body weight, stop using tobacco in any form, limit alcohol use, and choose whole grains over refined grain products.
Recent observations also have shown that regular use of aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce your chances of colon cancer by 30 to 50 percent. However, patients should consult their physician before starting an aspirin regimen due to potential side effects.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Compton, please call 601.450.2401.