There are lots of things you can’t prevent: taxes, jury duty, the cat zoom-bombing your video meeting.
But the good news is that regular, on-time screening tests can help prevent colorectal cancer.
Really. It’s true!
45 and older
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. And today we’re here to remind you that if you’re 45 or older, you should be getting screened regularly.
We get it. Getting screened for colorectal cancer doesn’t sound pleasant. And the last thing you need is one more item for your to-do list. Right?
The last thing you need is colorectal cancer.
This year, an estimated 151,030 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer
The highly preventable disease is a leading cause of cancer death in the United States. In fact, it is the second leading cancer killer in the U.S. among cancers that affect both men and women.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Because screening can prevent colorectal cancers from occurring and detect cancers early, when they’re most treatable.
Someone could have colorectal cancer and not know it. People do not always have symptoms, especially at first (or in early stages).
If there are symptoms, they may include:
- Changes in your bowel habits.
- Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement).
- Abdominal pain, aches, or cramps that don’t go away.
- Unexplained weight loss.
But don’t wait for symptoms to be checked. Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially early on.
And you need to get screened even if you have no family history. Most colorectal cancers occur in people with no family history of the disease.
It takes guts
This is why routine screening beginning at the age of 45 can save lives. And thankfully, these days there are several screening test options — some you can even do from home!
So, talk to your provider to decide which test is best for you. Your options might surprise you.
It takes guts to take the first step. Talk to your doctor about screening: it’s important, safe and saves lives.
Maybe your own.
Learn more @ the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.