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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Every year, cancer tragically claims the lives of thousands of people worldwide. While advances in research have helped detect symptoms faster, the disease still ranks as one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Among the most common types of cancer is Colorectal Cancer, commonly referred to as colon cancer, which attacks the digestive system of one’s body. The Mayo Clinic reports that about 200,000 yearly cases of Colorectal Cancer develop in the U.S. alone.

As with other forms of cancer, Colorectal Cancer is both preventable and treatable, and while all age groups are technically “at risk”, those over 50 years old are at a notably higher risk. The Prevent Cancer Foundation, whom is the sponsor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, estimates that if everyone 50 or older were screened, 6 out of 10 related deaths could be prevented.

Colorectal Cancer research has evolved and allowed the medical community to further its knowledge on causes, symptoms and most importantly, cures. In many cases, however, the cause of colon cancer is not immediately clear. In addition to age, there are several other known risk factors:

  • Obesity – those who are overweight are believed to be at a greater risk of colon cancer.
  • Diet – a diet that is high in fat and low in fiber has historically been a notable risk factor of colon cancer.
  • Smokers – regular cigarette smokers have also been suggested to be at a greater risk.
  • Alcohol – the Mayo Clinic notes that heavy alcohol use also may increase one’s risk of colon cancer.
  • Family history — if someone in your family tree has had colon cancer in the past, you may be at a greater risk.

Since an overall healthier lifestyle may decrease your risk of developing colon cancer, the Prevent Cancer Foundation suggests getting more active and improving your diet. In addition to living a healthier life, and getting screened if you are over 50 or have a family history of colon cancer, it is also suggested to talk to your doctor about other possible risk factors and prevention tips.

To help spread the word about March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, visit today!

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