Talking about your bowels isn’t something that you likely do often or enjoy. However, speaking about any colon or rectal issue you have could save your life. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and its goal is to get people to discuss the subject.

As its name implies, colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or the rectum. Most cancers of this area start as polyps, or growths, that begin in the inner lining of the colon or rectum and grow toward the center. Fortunately, a majority of polyps are not cancerous. However, when they are, 95 percent of these polyps are adenocarcinomas, which grow in gland cells. The good news is that having the polyps taken out when they are small could prevent them from turning into cancer.

The Signs and Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

If you have symptoms, alerting your doctor as soon as they begin could prevent your condition from getting worse. Speak with your doctor immediately if you have:

  • Cramping or abdominal pain
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Unintended weight loss
  • A feeling that you have to have a bowel movement but don’t get relief after having one
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Blood in the stool, which may cause it to look dark
  • A change in bowel habits, such as constipation, diarrhea, or narrowing of the stool that lasts for more than a few days

Do You Know What to Do?

If you have colorectal cancer, you may find yourself at Halifax Health Medical Center or another area hospital receiving treatment for your condition. Undergoing surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy for your cancer may leave you unable to work. Do you know what to do if that happens?

Fortunately, social security disability may be available. If you have questions or are experiencing difficulties obtaining benefits, the attorneys of Johnson and Gilbert may be able to help. Contact us today at 800.556.8890 to learn how.