March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
If you are 50 or older it is time to get screened!
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer. Colorectal cancer affects all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people ages 50 and older. The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to get screened regularly starting at age 50. There are often no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer – that’s why it’s so important to get screened. To increase awareness about the importance of colorectal cancer screening, Digestive Disease Endoscopy Center is proudly participating in Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
People over age 50 have the highest risk of colorectal cancer. You may also be at higher risk if you are African American, smoke, or have a family history of colorectal cancer.
Everyone can take these healthy steps to help prevent colorectal cancer:
- Get screened starting at age 50.
- Encourage your family members and friends over age 50 to get screened.
- Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
- Get plenty of physical activity and eat healthy.
Preventable, Treatable, Beatable®
Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum. This year, more than 135,000 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and more than 50,200 will die of the disease.
This cancer may be prevented by removing polyps (grape-like growths on the wall of the intestine) before they become cancerous. Several screening tests detect colorectal cancer early, when it can be easily and successfully treated.
You might be at an increased risk for colorectal cancer if you:
- Are age 50 or older
- Smoke or use tobacco
- Are overweight or obese, especially if you carry fat around your waist
- Are not physically active
- Drink alcohol in excess (especially if you are a man)
- Eat a lot of red meat, such as beef, pork or lamb, or a lot of processed meat, such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs or cold cuts
- Have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or benign (not cancerous) colorectal polyps
- Have a personal or family history of inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
Early stages of colorectal cancer don’t usually have symptoms. Later on, people may have these symptoms:
- Bleeding from the rectum or blood in or on the stool
- Change in bowel habits
- Stools that are more narrow than usual
- General problems in the abdomen, such as bloating, fullness or cramps
- Diarrhea, constipation or a feeling in the rectum that the bowel movement isn’t quite complete
- Weight loss for no apparent reason
- Being tired all the time
- Begin getting screened at age 50.
- If you are a high risk, talk to your health care professional about screening earlier and more often
- Be physically active for at least 30 minutes at least five days a week
- Maintain a healthy weight and waist size
- Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, quit
- Limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day if you’re a woman or two drinks per day if you’re a man
- Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which are good sources of fiber
- Eat less red meat and cut out processed meat
- Get screened according to guidelines
Colorectal Cancer is cancer of the colon and rectum. It is the third most frequently diagnosed cancer in both men and women and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
Information provided by: https://www.healthfinder.gov / https://www.preventcancer.org