National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month reminds us that early detection is key.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than a million people in the United States count themselves as survivors. While early detection and treatments make a difference, there is more that can be done. Knowing the causes and risk factors help prevent colorectal cancer.
There are several risk factors we can control.
- Diet – Studies show that diets rich in red and processed meats may contribute to colorectal cancer risks. Also, how we prepare our proteins may increase our risk, too. Grilling, frying and high-temperature cooking release chemicals that may contribute to colorectal cancer risks. Diets full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains reduce our risk of colon cancer as well as other health risks.
- Exercise – Sedentary lifestyles and obesity are two more risk factors for colorectal cancer. Once again, physical activity helps to reduce our risk factor for another disease.
- Smoking and heavy alcohol use – Quit the one and limit the other. Ask your physician if you need help with either one.
- Family history – While you can’t control this, you can know it. Report it to your primary care physician so if your family history shows an increased risk for you, she can decide if you need early screening. Knowledge is power. https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-colorectal-cancer-awareness-month-march/
Bond County Health Department is offering an easy way to screen for colorectal cancer. Take home fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) are made available to individuals who are 40 years and older and have not had a colonoscopy in the last 10 years.
For more information contact the Bond County Health Department at 618-664-1442, ext. 126