National Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Post from our friends at the American Cancer Society

March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society is emphasizing the importance of age-appropriate colorectal cancer screening. An estimated 50,310 deaths from colorectal cancer is expected to occur in 2014, accounting for 9 percent of all cancer deaths.

The Society is also recommending preventative measures individuals can take to reduce their risk of developing the disease. Adults should maintain a healthy weight, get plenty of physical activity, and eat a diet that is high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and low in red and processed meats. In addition, limiting alcohol intake can also help reduce your risk of this disease.

Colorectal cancer is highly treatable if found in its early stages! Half of all colon cancer deaths in the United States could be prevented if everyone followed recommended screening guidelines. Most people should start getting screened for colorectal cancer at age 50, but people with a family history are at higher risk and may need to be screened earlier.

The American Cancer Society recommends the following tests to find colorectal cancer early:

Tests that detect precancerous polyps and cancer:
• Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years, or
• Colonoscopy every 10 years, or
• Double contrast barium enema (DCBE) every five years, or
• CT colonography (CTC) every five years.

Tests that primarily detect cancer:
• Annual guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) with high test sensitivity for cancer (Older versions of the Fecal Occult Blood Test should not be used to screen for colorectal cancer), or
• Annual fecal immunochemical test (FIT) with high test sensitivity for cancer (Older versions of the Fecal Occult Blood Test should not be used to screen for colorectal cancer), or
• Stool DNA test (sDNA), with high sensitivity for cancer.

The Society is working with community partners to provide education and access to colon cancer screening in communities that are hardest hit by the disease.

In recognition of Colorectal Awareness Month, IU Ball Memorial and the Colorectal Awareness Network (CRAN) of Delaware County have partnered with the various organizations to offer information about the importance of colorectal screenings. In addition, all Delaware County Dairy Queen locations will be joining in the fight. Please plan to show your support. 

For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

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