March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month
Get screened, reduce your risk and know the warning signs
Green Bay – Although colon cancer is a preventable and curable disease if caught early, it remains the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women in the United States. HSHS St. Vincent Hospital, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center and Prevea Health offer the following information to help in the screening, prevention and detection of colon cancer.
The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons recommends people at an average risk of getting colon cancer receive a colonoscopy beginning at age 50. Increased risk patients may need earlier and more frequent screening depending upon recommendation by a health care provider.
People at an increased risk for colon cancer include:
Those with a personal or family history of colorectal polyps or cancer
Those with a personal history of breast, uterine or ovarian cancer
Those with chronic ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
In addition to regular screening for colon cancer, you may also be able to lower your risk by:
Avoiding foods high in fat
Adding plenty of vegetables, fruits and other high-fiber foods to your diet
Exercising regularly and maintaining a normal body weight
Drinking alcohol only in moderation
Warning signs of colon cancer can include:
Blood in or on the stool
Recurrent shifts in normal bowel habits such as experiencing diarrhea or constipation for no known reason
Thinning of the stool
Increases in stomach discomfort (bloating, gas, fullness and/or cramps that last more than a few days)
A feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
Weight loss for no known reason
Constant and unexplained fatigue
Those interested in recognizing Colon Cancer Awareness month are encouraged to wear blue for National Dress in Blue Day on Friday, March 6th. For more information about colon cancer screening, prevention and treatment, Please Click Here.