March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Cancer is one of the most debilitating diseases in the world. It is a global pandemic and affects millions of lives and taken just as many. This March, we focus on raising awareness for colorectal cancer. What most people might not know is that it is one of the most beatable forms of cancer, most especially when it is detected early. It is preventable and treatable, something that is not present in other forms of cancer.
Despite this opportunity for treatment, colorectal cancer, otherwise called as either cancer of the colon or rectum, remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the country. It affects both men and women, with around 140,000 diagnosed with the disease in the United States annually. What’s worse is that 50,000 individuals lose their lives to fighting the battle against cancer.
One of the reasons why colorectal cancer remains widespread is because around 50% of Americans have not had the chance to get the necessary screenings for this type of cancer. Even individuals who are not at high risk for colorectal cancer should start getting colonoscopies and other screening tests when they reach 50 years of age. On the other hand, if they are at high risk for developing the disease, then it would be best for them to consult their doctor as soon as possible about a screening.
Reduce Your Risk, Get Screened
Age is one of the major risk factors of this disease. Almost 90% of those diagnosed are aged 50 or older. While colorectal cancer screening might save countless lives, what takes lives is when people see a doctor when it is already too late.
Here are other ways to decrease your risk:
Increasing the frequency and intensity of physical activities
Avoid obesity, especially weight gain around the abdominal area
Lessen alcohol intake
Reduce smoking, or if you don’t smoke, do not try it. Also try to avoid secondhand smoke.
What Does a Screening Do?
Colorectal cancer screening helps doctors find precancerous polyps that have to be removed before it develops into cancer. This is how it is prevented. If the disease has already developed early on in its stage, treatment can lead to a cure.