Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month Emphasizes Early Detection

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This March, Advantage Care Health Centers is marking National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month by highlighting the importance of screenings for at risk individuals, both young and old. Early detection of colon cancer is vital to the prevention and treatment this disease.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

In 2000, President Bill Clinton officially designated March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. It has since become a time of the year to raise awareness about colon cancer and encourage more people to receive screenings.

Why Early Detection is Vital to Treatment

Colorectal cancer can often be a symptomless disease that is second only to lung cancer in the number of deaths each year in the United States. It takes the lives of more than 50,000 Americans every year.

A colon cancer screening is the number one way to reduce your risk of developing this disease. It is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer when it is detected early.

There are several screening tests that are used to detect polyps or colorectal cancer. If you are at risk, you should consider talking to your doctor during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month about which test is right for you.

Men and women who are 50 to 75 years of age are advised to receive a colon cancer screening regularly. Those who are younger than 50 or older than 75 and at high risk, should consult a physician first.

colorectal cancer awareness month

What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that can develop in a person’s colon or rectum. The term, colorectal cancer, is used to describe colon cancer, rectum cancer or both.

Abnormal growths, which are called polyps, may form and develop into cancer. However, these can be removed if detected early during a colon cancer screening.

Who is at Risk?

Colon cancer is now the third most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in the United States. About one in 23 American men and women will develop it during their lifetime. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

Generally speaking, adults over the age of 50 are most at risk for developing colon cancer. More than 90 percent of colorectal cancer occurs in men and women who are 50 years of age or older.

However, there are additional risk factors that could contribute to developing this disease, including:

  • Family history of colon cancer or polyps
  • African Americans
  • Personal history of cancer
  • Those who suffer from ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn’s disease

Although the median age at diagnosis ranges from the late 60s to early 70s, there is a rising rate of incidence among younger age groups.

colorectal cancer awareness month

What are the Symptoms?

Colon cancer does not always have recognizable symptoms. You can develop precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer without knowing it.

Everyone should be on the lookout for symptoms like these:

  • A change in bowel habits
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Blood in your stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you have any of these symptoms or risk factors, consider scheduling a test this March during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Advantage Care Health Centers’ team of compassionate, caring medical professionals are here to help. Contact us today to learn more.

colorectal cancer awareness month

 

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