March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer. Colorectal cancer affects all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people ages 50 and older. There is a higher risk for people of African-American descent, those who smoke, or people with a family history of colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.

Statistics from HealthyPeople.gov show that there were 424 people diagnosed with colorectal cancer in Shelby County from 1973-2008. That averages out to be 12 people per year in our county alone. The best prevention method for colorectal cancer is to get regular screenings starting at age 50. There are often no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer. If caught in the early stages, colorectal cancer is very treatable, which makes screening a very important part of your personal health care plan.

Everyone can take these healthy steps to help prevent colorectal cancer:

  • Get regular screening for those over 50 years of age.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Get plenty of physical activity and eat healthy.

To schedule a screening, please contact your primary care provider at Myrtue Medical Clinic by calling 712.755.5130. For more information on this topic or other health promotion strategies, please contact Shelby County Public Health by calling 712-755-4423.