National Colon Cancer Awareness Month and National Kidney Month
March is recognized as National Colon Cancer Awareness Month and National Kidney Month. In this article, we will explore what these diseases are, their symptoms, how they can be prevented, and what we can do to support those affected by them.
Colon cancer is a disease that affects the large intestine or colon. It is also known as colorectal cancer. This type of cancer usually begins as small, non-cancerous growths called polyps that form on the colon’s inner lining. Over time, some of these polyps can turn into cancer.
Symptoms of colon cancer may include:
- Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding
- Change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fatigue or weakness
Colon cancer can be prevented through regular screening tests, such as a colonoscopy or testing stool for blood. A colonoscopy is a procedure that examines the inside of the colon for polyps and other abnormalities. Early detection and treatment can increase the chances of successful treatment and recovery.
In addition to regular screenings, a healthy lifestyle can also help prevent colon cancer. For example, eating a diet high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables and low in red and processed meats may help reduce the risk of colon cancer. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can also help.
Kidney disease is when the kidneys are damaged and unable to filter waste and excess fluids from the blood. This can lead to a buildup of toxins in the body and cause serious health problems. There are many different types of kidney disease. One is chronic kidney disease, a long-term condition that may gradually worsen over time.
Symptoms of kidney disease may include:
- Fatigue or weakness
- Swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, or face
- Foamy or bubbly urine
- Increased urination, especially at night
- High blood pressure
Kidney disease can be prevented or managed through lifestyle changes and medical treatment. Eating a healthy diet low in sodium and processed foods and high in fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of kidney disease. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can also help. In addition, suppose you have a medical condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. In that case, it is essential to manage these conditions to help prevent kidney disease.
If you or someone you know is affected by colon cancer or kidney disease, resources are available to help. Support groups, counseling services, and medical professionals can provide information, guidance, and support to help manage these conditions.
In conclusion, National Colon Cancer Awareness Month and National Kidney Month are times to raise awareness about these significant diseases. Early detection and prevention are vital in managing these conditions. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, participating in screening tests, and supporting awareness efforts, we can help prevent and manage colon cancer and kidney disease.
Michael Dominguez, MD, FAAFP is board certified in Family Medicine. His office is located at HealthTexas Medical Group, 590 N. General McMullen, 78228, phone: 210-249-0212.