Although colon cancer is a preventable and curable disease if caught early, it remains the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. The experts at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital and Prevea Health provide highly-effective screening, prevention and treatment of colon cancer.
The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons recommends people at an average risk of getting colon cancer receive a colonoscopy beginning at age 50. Increased risk patients may need earlier and more frequent screening depending upon recommendation by a health care provider.
People at an increased risk for colon cancer include:
- Those with a personal or family history of colorectal polyps or cancer
- Those with a personal history of breast, uterine or ovarian cancer
- Those with chronic ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
In addition to regular screening for colon cancer, you may also be able to lower your risk by:
- Avoiding foods in high fat
- Adding plenty of vegetables, fruits and other high-fiber foods to your diet
- Exercising regularly and maintaining a normal body weight
- Not smoking
- Drinking alcohol only in moderation
Warning signs of colon cancer can include:
- Blood in or on the stool
- Recurrent shifts in normal bowel habits such as experiencing diarrhea or constipation for no known reason
- Thinning of the stool
- Increases in stomach discomfort (bloating, gas, fullness and/or cramps that last more than a few days)
- A feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
- Weight loss for no known reason
- Constant and unexplained fatigue
Those interested in recognizing Colon Cancer Awareness month are encouraged to wear blue for National Dress in Blue Day on Friday, March 6. For more information about colon cancer screening, prevention and treatment, or to schedule an appointment, call (920) 429-1700.