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March is Colorectal Health Awareness Month

About Colorectal Cancer

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to highlight what it is, who may be at risk and what you can do for yourself and others. Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosis for both men and women in the US. If you’re age 45 or older, start getting screened for colorectal cancer. Several types of tests can be used making it important to talk to your health care provider about which ones might be the best options for you.

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Lifestyle related or other risk factors include:

  • Obesity;
  • Moderate to heavy alcohol consumption;
  • Personal history of colorectal polyps;
  • Physical Inactivity;
  • Smoking;
  • Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease; and
  • Aging.

The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk of colorectal cancer start regular screening at age 45. This can be done either with a stool-based test, or with a visual.

Regular screenings for individuals in good health should continue through the age of 75. Screenings for individuals 76 through 85, should be based on a person’s preferences, life expectancy, overall health and prior screening history. Colorectal cancer screenings are not recommended for individuals 85 and older.

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For more information on colorectal health, visit here.

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