Mid-State Health Reminds Community of Importance of Colorectal Cancer Screening

Mar 26, 2024 | News

March is colorectal cancer awareness month and Mid-State is raising awareness about the importance of early detection and screening for colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer, being the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, affects both men and women of all walks of life. Each year, more than 140,000 of new cases are diagnosed.

Colorectal cancer is a disease that can be prevented through regular screenings, a healthy diet, and regular exercise. Routine screening beginning at age 45 can significantly reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer by detecting precancerous polyps early and enabling their removal before they progress into cancer. Furthermore, early detection through screening tests allows for timely intervention and significantly improves treatment outcomes.

Who is at risk of developing colorectal cancer?

While the risk of colorectal cancer increases with age, it’s essential to recognize that individuals of all ages can develop this disease, but especially those over the age of 45. You may be at increased risk if you have an inflammatory bowel disease, have a close relative with colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may include changes in bowel habits, blood in the stool, abdominal discomfort, and unexplained weight loss. However, it’s important to note that colorectal cancer can develop without any noticeable symptoms… which is why regular screening is so important!

How Can I Lower My Risk?

To lower your risk of colorectal cancer, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons recommends that you:

  • Get regular colorectal cancer screenings after age 45. Between 80-90% of colorectal cancer patients are restored to normal health if their cancer is detected and treated in the earliest stages.
  • Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet.
  • If you use alcohol, drink only in moderation. If you use tobacco, quit. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. Alcohol and tobacco in combination are linked to colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers.
  • Exercise for at least 20 minutes three to four days each week. Moderate exercise such as walking, gardening, or climbing steps may help.

Don’t wait! Early screening saves lives. This National Colorectal Cancer Month, Mid-State Health Center urges those who may be at risk to prioritize their health by scheduling a colorectal cancer screening. Early detection saves lives, and together, we can make a difference in the fight against colorectal cancer. Call 603-536-4000 to schedule an appointment!