March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Staff Writer
Brownwood Bulletin

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of death in men and women in the US and a cause of considerable suffering among more than 136,000 adults diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year. Because colon cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented through the detection and removal of precancerous polyps found during screening, the American Cancer Society is working to beat colon cancer by increasing colon cancer screenings to 80% by 2018 through the “March Forward” Campaign encouraging people to get screenings done in order to save lives. There are several recommended screening test options including: colonoscopy, stool tests, and sigmoidoscopy. year. Because colon cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented through the detection and removal of precancerous polyps found during screening, the American Cancer Society is working to beat colon cancer by increasing colon cancer screenings to 80% by 2018 through the “March Forward” campaign.

To learn about the “March Forward” campaign visit : https://www.societysource.org/NewsAndViews/Pages/DetailArticleAllNews.aspx?ItemID=220 .

You can also support this cause by donating to your local Relay For Life

About 1 in 20 people in the US will develop colon cancer at some point during their lifetime. While you can't change some risk factors—genetics and aging, for example—there are things you can do that may lower your colon cancer risk:

Get tested for colon cancer. Screening tests can often find growths called polyps that can be removed before they turn into cancer. Talk to your doctor about when you should start and which tests might be right for you. The Society recommends testing starting at age 50 for most people, and earlier for people with a history of colon cancer in their family.

Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Diets that include lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains have been linked with a decreased risk of colon cancer. Be sure to get your fiber from food, not supplements. Eat less meat (beef, pork, or lamb) and processed meats (hot dogs and some luncheon meats), which have been linked with an increased risk of colon cancer.

Get regular exercise. If you are not physically active, you have a greater chance of developing colon cancer. Increasing your activity may help reduce your risk. Learn more about how to meet diet and exercise goals at cancer.org/foodandfitness.

Watch your weight. Being obese or very overweight increases your risk of getting and dying from colon cancer. The links between diet, weight, and exercise and colon cancer risk are some of the strongest for any type of cancer.

Don't smoke. Long-term smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop and die from colon cancer.

Limit alcohol. Colon cancer has been linked to heavy drinking. We recommend no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.

To learn more about the “Forward March” campaign contact your local American Cancer Society office at (325) 944-2500. You can support this “Forward March” campaign by donating to the Relay For Life of Brown County at www.relayforlife.org/browncotx