Fitness Facts: Preventing colorectal cancer
By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Know your risks!
According to healthfinder.gov:
“Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States and the second-leading cause of death from cancer. Colorectal cancer affects people in all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people age 50 and older.
“The good news? If everyone age 50 and older were screened regularly, 6 out of 10 deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented. Communities, health professionals and families can work together to encourage people to get screened.”
The best way to prevent this cancer is screening.
People over age 50 have the highest risk of colorectal cancer, but you also might be at higher risk if you are African American, smoke or have a family history of colorectal cancer.
Some people do not have symptoms of colorectal cancer at first, so screening is more important because the cancer may be caught in the early, more treatable stages.
Everyone ages 50-75 must get screened. Here is a link to find out which screening test might be best for you!
If you have a family history of colorectal or colon cancer, especially if the family member was younger than the age of 50 at the time of diagnosis, it is important to get screened at least 10 years before the family member’s age at diagnosis.
As always, living a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly and eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is helpful in the prevention of disease.
Let’s get the word out about colorectal screening! It could save a life.