Colorectal cancer is the term used to describe the cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum.  They can be referred to separately as colon or rectal cancer depending on where they start.  It's also the third most dangerous cancer in males and females.  This is how it stacks up against the others:

Top 5 Most Deadly Cancers for Men

  1. Lung and Bronchus
  2. Prostate
  3. Colorectal
  4. Pancreas
  5. Liver

Top 5 Most Deadly Cancers for Women

  1. Lung and Bronchus
  2. Breast
  3. Colorectal
  4. Pancreas
  5. Ovary

Why are truckers at risk for colorectal cancer you ask?  Quite simply our industry population is one of the least healthy in the country.  More than 50% of us are obese, compared to the national rate of 27%.  Obesity is one of the leading factors that raises our risk for this deadly disease. 

Factors That Increase Risk for Colorectal Cancer:

  • Obesity (already mentioned)
  • High consumption of red meat
  • High consumption of luncheon meats
  • Not physically active
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Age over 50
  • Family History of Colorectal Cancer
  • Having Type II Diabetes
  • History of bowel problems and/or Crohn's Disease

Reducing the Risk

As you can see, most of these factors can be affected positively by making changes in your lifestyle.  Diet and exercise, diet and exercise, diet and exercise, diet and exercise.  We hear these words constantly but very few of us really make the changes we need until its too late. So let's prevent the problem before we get the diagnosis.

Regarding the factors that we can't change, doctors recommend that we start getting screened for colorectal cancer at age 50 and even younger if there's a family history.  Most insurance coverages allow for a colonoscopy and other screenings starting at age 50 for everyone. It's a simple procedure that can be done in the doctor's office.  This will allow polyps to be found early and removed before they can turn cancerous.

Information Sources:

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Joey Slaughter

Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. Joey has been in the trucking industry since 1992.

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