Colorectal cancer awareness month 2020 is here. Every March the National Colorectal Cancer Alliance brings focus on this terrible disease. Colorectal cancer accounts for 50,000 deaths each year, the third most among all types of cancers. Colorectal cancers affect people of every race and ethnicity, and are most prominent in people over the age of 50. Furthermore, colorectal cancers do not always show symptoms in the early stages, often resulting in diagnoses at advanced or more aggressive stages. Screening for colorectal cancer can lead to early detection, when treatment is more effective, and it can even prevent the development of cancer by removing polyps in the colon before they become cancerous.
Colorectal cancer affects people in all racial and ethnic groups and is most common in people age 50 and older.
Colorectal Cancer Awareness in March is a great time to spread the word about the importance of getting screened for colorectal cancer:
- Tweet for Awareness – Help spread the word about National Colorectal Awareness Month by sharing about it on social media. Educate your followers by posting interesting facts and encouraging everyone to get screened early and often.
- Help Fundraise – The Colorectal Cancer Alliance hosts a series of walks across the United States every year. You can sign up to become a team captain and encourage family and friends to participate in the walk with you. If you know somebody who can’t participate in the walk but is interested in advocating for the cause, you can ask him/her to sponsor you.
- Encourage Someone You Know to get Screened – Typically, it’s not necessary to participate in colorectal cancer screenings until the age of fifty. But early detection can help to ward off the disease before it even has a chance to turn into a serious condition. You never know—reminding your loved ones to get screened has the potential of saving lives.
It is estimated that 60 percent of deaths related to colorectal cancer could have been prevented with early detection. This statistic reflects just how critical it is for all men and women to regularly check in with their medical provider and apply all preventative measures recommended to improve their overall health and wellbeing. While screening is recommended for all adults ages 50 to 75, having a family history of colorectal cancer increases your risk and may require screening before age 50.
Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk
Stop Smoking – Smoking may increase colorectal cancer risk. The doctors at Physician Care Physicians strongly urge people who smoke to quit.
Limit Alcohol Intake – Heavy alcohol use may increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Eat a Healthy Diet – Eating a healthy diet—one rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in red and processed meats—may help reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer. Limit red meat and processed meat as they have been shown to increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
Exercise Regularly – An active lifestyle has been linked to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
Maintain a Healthy Weight – Being overweight can increase your risk of colorectal cancer. Eating healthfully and exercising regularly can help you maintain a healthy body weight.
Get Screened – Colorectal cancer is one cancer for which the recommended screening tests, such as colonoscopy, can not only detect cancer early but can often help prevent cancer from developing. Colonoscopy screening can be used to identify growths, called polyps, before they become cancerous—and before you have symptoms.
While cancer is a horrible disease that affects millions, there is reason for optimism in the medical community. American innovation is spurring advancements in cancer treatments, and the Department of Health and Human Services recently reported that mortality rates for most cancers are continuing to fall among men, women, and children in the United States. Through increased knowledge about preventative lifestyle habits, early detection, and research leading to enhanced treatments, cancer—including colorectal cancer—can be prevented or treated, and remission is possible.
During National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we also recognize the community of individuals who work tirelessly throughout our country to ensure that people are informed, diagnosed, and treated promptly. Without the efforts of medical researchers and staff and public health professionals, we would not have had the successes that we have seen in recent years. While cancer rates continue to fall, we must continue to push forward so that more people receive the information they need to prevent and treat all cancers, including colorectal cancer.
Digestive Care Physicians have 4 locations north of Atlanta, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Lawrenceville and Cumming, Georgia.