Every year, about 100 thousand new people across the United States are diagnosed with colon cancer. In a single year, about 50 thousand people will die because of this affliction. If colon cancer is caught early, a person’s chance of treatment and survival is much higher, and it is suggested that everyone over the age of 50 gets tested for it. Colon cancer is also a result of radiological exposure to heavy metals or chemicals and is a type of cancer covered under the EEOICPA and RECA. If you have been diagnosed with colon cancer after working as a US Department of Energy (DOE) employee, contractor, or subcontractor, you may qualify for free home healthcare from our professionals at United Energy Workers Healthcare and Four Corners Health Care. This article covers a brief overview of colon cancer, in general, what to expect, and how we can help you or a loved one who has developed colon cancer.
Defining Colon Cancer
The colon is another name for the large intestine, the last part of the digestive system. The colon is primarily responsible for storing waste which is then passed out of the body and for absorbing water and a few vitamins back into the body. Colon cancer occurs when small clumps of fast-growing cells arise. To start, these are often non-cancerous but can later begin to invade healthy surrounding tissues (cancer) which can lead to the organ’s failure and ultimately death, if it isn’t treated early and quickly. The beginning stages of colon cancer are easy to detect in a screening but often present no initial symptoms, which is why healthcare providers ubiquitously agree that regular checkups for colon cancer should become a standard part of any elderly person’s health maintenance and medical checkups.
Causes of Colon Cancer
As with any cancer, the exact cause of colon cancer can be difficult to detect, but as it is a covered EEOICPA and RECA cancer, we know that one contributing factor is exposure to radioactive materials and chemicals, often handled by DOE employees and their subsidiaries’ employees. There are also additional causes, such as a genetic predisposition to colon cancer, high fat and low fiber diets, and an assortment of risk factors, such as previous intestinal problems, sedentary lifestyles, diabetes, smoking, alcohol, or obesity. Most doctors who diagnose colon cancer, including colon cancer caused by DOE occupations, will recommend better diets and cutting out smoking and alcohol to improve a person’s chances of recovery.
Colon Cancer Treatment
Colon cancer treatment varies depending on the severity, or “stage”, of the cancer itself. At stage 0, for example, the cancer has not spread beyond the inner lining of the large intestine, making surgery a straightforward way of removing the cancerous cells. In contrast, stage 4 colon cancer has metastasized, or spread, to other parts of the body, making surgery impossible to localize all the tumors, meaning chemotherapy is one of the only courses of treatment. Most of this is very daunting, but this is one of the most important reasons to catch colon cancer early, as it can be controlled and managed at earlier stages with standard health screenings.
At UEW Healthcare, we offer free home healthcare for qualifying EEOICPA and RECA beneficiaries who have contracted colon cancer because of their employment with the US DOE. Our medical professionals are trained to help you or your loved ones manage the different aspects and processes of diagnosing and treating colon cancer. We also offer training for family members to care for their loved ones with colon cancer and even receive payment for it. Call us today to hear what we can do for you and how to start the process of help and healing with our caring professionals.