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Colon cancer highlighted in march

By Staff | Mar 4, 2015

March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Screening could have prevented many of the 50,000 colorectal cancer deaths expected each year. Yet, more than one in three adults in the US are not getting screened as recommended.

There are several screening options available, including simple take home options. Talk to your doctor about getting screened.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., when men and women are combined, yet it can be prevented or detected at an early stage. Preventing colon cancer, or finding it early, doesn’t have to be expensive. There are simple, affordable tests available. Get screened! Call your doctor today.

Colon cancer can be prevented or caught early through screening. Colon cancer almost always starts with a polyp-a small growth on the lining of the colon or rectum. Screening tests can detect and remove them before they turn into cancer, or find cancer early when treatment is more likely to be successful. Screening is recommended for adults age 50 and older. Simply aging increases your chances of getting colorectal cancer, and colorectal cancer doesn’t usually cause symptoms in its early stages, when treatment is more likely to be successful.

Yet, more than one in three adults in the US is not getting screened as recommended. There are different screening options to choose from. All recommended tests can save lives from colon cancer. Options include tests that need to be done in a hospital outpatient setting or doctor’s office (like colonoscopy), as well as tests that can be done in the privacy of your own home (like stool tests). The American Cancer Society encourages everyone 50 and older to choose the test that is best for them.

In addition to screening, you can reduce your risk of colon cancer with healthy behaviors. Staying at a healthy weight; getting regular exercise; eating a healthy diet that is low in red and processed meat and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; limiting alcohol intake; and not smoking are all important ways to reduce risk. Colon cancer survivors should follow the same recommendations.

The society is committed to increasing screening and saving lives from colon cancer. They are working to increase access to screening in underserved communities, providing information and support to those facing a colon cancer diagnosis, conducting research to save lives from colon cancer, and advocating for increased access to quality screening and treatment for all people with colon cancer.

Studies have shown that people are more likely to be screened when it is recommended by their health care provider.

Patients have different screening options to choose from. The Society recommends a number of options for colon cancer screening, including tests like colonoscopy and high-quality stool tests like FOBT and FIT. All recommended tests can save lives from colon cancer.