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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Mar 06, 2020

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is one of the more common cancers in the United States. About 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women will develop colon or rectal cancer at some point during their lifetime. But there are things you can do to help lower your risk.

Here are some ways to help protect your colorectal health.

Research shows that habits related to diet, weight, and exercise are linked to colorectal cancer risk, and those links are stronger than for other types of cancer. Changing some of these lifestyle habits may be hard. But making the changes can also lower the risk for many other types of cancer, as well as other serious diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

Risk factors you can’t change

Because recent data has shown that new cases of colorectal cancer are on the rise in younger populations, the American Cancer Society recommends colorectal cancer screening begin at age 45 for people at average risk. But some people have certain risk factors that make them more likely to develop colorectal cancer, and to get it at an earlier age. For these people, this may mean they should start screening earlier, or get tested more often than other people.

One of these risk factors is a family history of colorectal cancer or pre-cancerous polyps, especially in parents, brothers and sisters, or children. About 1 in 3 people who develop colon or rectal cancer have other family members who’ve had it. Family history of other colorectal problems can also increase risk. 

Your personal history can also affect your risk. For example, you are more likely to get colon or rectal cancer if you have had pre-cancerous colon polyps in the past. Having other conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or type 2 diabetes can also increase your risk of colorectal cancer.

If you have any of these problems, talk to your health care provider about which screening options might be best for you. If you do not have a provider, we invite you to contact Falls Community Health.

 

 

Source: American Cancer Society