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Week of March 1, 2019
March is COLON CANCER AWARENESS month.
Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in both men and women in the U.S. With colon cancer increasing in younger people, last year the American Cancer Society began recommending that average-risk adults start screening at age 45 instead of 50. According to the ACS, people are considered average risk if they DO NOT have:
*A personal history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps
*A family history of colorectal cancer
*A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease like Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's Disease
*A confirmed or suspected hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome, such as familial adenomatous polyposis or Lynch Syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer)
*A personal history of getting radiation to the abdomen or pelvic area to treat a prior cancer.
There are different ways of getting screened: having a Colonoscopy is one way. But there are alternatives for some people: one is an at-home FIT test (Fecal Immunochemical Test) that looks for invisible blood in the stool. Discuss with your Healthcare Provider the best approach for you.
The Colorectal Cancer Alliance reminds people to look out for symptoms and know your risk factors. Common symptoms: change in bowel habits, change in stool consistency, blood in stool, and abdominal pain. Risk factors include: family history, obesity, inactivity, smoking, and a diet rich in red and processed meats.
Since colorectal cancer is one of the most curable types of cancer if detected early, the CCA urges everyone to follow the recommendations for getting screened.
Wishing you health in mind, body and spirit.
~Lyn Florio, RN