March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the CDC and other federal agencies promote colorectal cancer screenings, which can be lifesaving. Regular screening, beginning at age 50, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer. If you’re 50 to 75 years old, get screened for colorectal cancer regularly. If you’re younger than 50 and think you may be at high risk of getting colorectal cancer, or if you’re older than 75, ask your primary care provider if you should be screened.

  • Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
  • Every year, about 140,000 people in the United States get colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die of it.
  • Risk increases with age. More than 90% of colorectal cancers occur in people who are 50 years old or older.
  • Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. If you have symptoms, they may include blood in or on the stool, stomach pain that doesn’t go away, or losing weight and you don’t know why. If you have any of these symptoms, see your primary care provider.
  • There are several screening test options. Talk with your primary care provider about which is right for you.
  • Only about two-thirds of adults in the United States are up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening.

In February 2000, President Clinton officially dedicated March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Since then, it has grown to be a rallying point for the colorectal cancer community where thousands of patients, survivors, caregivers and advocates throughout the country join together to spread colorectal cancer awareness by wearing blue, holding fundraising and education events, talking to friends and family about screening and so much more.

As part of a colorectal screening program, colonoscopy is routinely recommended to adults starting at age 50. Patients who have a family history of colon or rectal cancer or polyps may be recommended for a colonoscopy earlier and more frequently than those without a family history of cancer. Our general surgeon, Dr. Jeff Maire, is available to perform your upcoming colonoscopy procedure at Audubon County Memorial Hospital & Clinics. Call 712-563-5304 to schedule an appointment in the Specialty Clinic.