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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

What is Colorectal Cancer

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According to the American Cancer Society, most colorectal cancers start as a growth on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. These growths are called 


. Some types of polyps can change into cancer over time (usually many years), but not all polyps become cancer. The chance of a polyp turning into cancer depends on the type of polyp it is. Colon cancer often has no symptoms.​ However, rectal bleeding can be a warning sign and should never be ignored. Notify your physician so that a detailed medical history, X-ray and possibly endoscopic evaluation may be done to make a diagnosis.

Risk Factors

  • Being overwieght or obese;
  • Not being physically active;
  • Certain types of diets:
    • Diet high in red meats;
    • Cooking meats at high temperature, like frying, broiling, or grilling;
  • Smoking and;
  • Alcohol use.

Colorectal Cancer Screening Guideline for Men and Women at Average Risk

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Preventive screenings are covered at 100% in accordance with the Affordable Care Act through all State of Illinois health plans.

  • Ages 45 to 75: Get screened. Several types of tests can be used. Talk to your doctor about which option is best for you.
  • Ages 76 to 85: Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue screening. When deciding, consider your own preferences, overall health, and past screening history.
  • Age 85+: People should no longer get colorectal cancer screening

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