March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer affects both men and women of all racial and ethnic groups, and is most often found in people aged 50 years or older. For men, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer after prostate and lung cancers. For women, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer after breast and lung cancers.
While colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, it doesn’t have to be. If individuals aged 50 or older have regular screening test, as many as 80% of deaths from colorectal cancer can be prevented. Colorectal cancer screening saves lives. Screening can find precancerous polyps—abnormal growths in the colon or rectum—so that they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure.
During the month of March, Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View will also provide the community “Family PLZ” information. This information kit focuses on the importance of learning your family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, sharing this information with your doctor and loved ones, and getting the younger generation to start conversations about health and screening.
According to the American Cancer Society:
- Approximately 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer every year
- Colon cancer often has no symptoms until it’s at an advanced stage
- Colon cancer is up to 90% preventable
- You can reduce your risk through regular screenings
- Beginning at age 50 (or earlier if you have a family history), everyone should talk to a doctor about getting a screening test for colon cancer
Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View also celebrated Dress in Blue Day on Friday, March 2 to raise awareness of and get people to talking about colon cancer. Why blue? Similar to breast cancer’s pink ribbon, the nationally recognized blue star represents the eternal memory of the people whose lives have been lost to the disease and the shining hope for a future free of colon cancer.
Schedule a colonsocopy at our Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View Endoscopy Center by calling 757.673.5960.