AdventHealth Health Hub: What You Need To Know About Colorectal Cancer

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

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The American Cancer Society states that 90% of colorectal cancers are treatable if detected early. Early detection and treatment are critical.

Men and women are equally affected by colorectal cancer. For patients of average risk with no family history, it is now recommended that screenings for colorectal cancer begin at age 45, with follow-up screenings of colorectal cancer every five to 10 years, even for people who feel perfectly healthy. If you do have a family history of colorectal cancer, are experiencing pain or bleeding, or a previous screening revealed polyps, your doctor may recommend that you be screened earlier or more frequently.

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IT’S TIME TO GET SCREENED

Several screening tests can help find pre-cancerous polyps in the colon, such as:
• Colonoscopy
• Computed Tomography (CT) Colonoscopy
• Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
• Stool Tests

COLORECTAL CANCER RISK FACTORS

Even if you have no family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, you could have increased risk if:
• 45+ years of age
• Overweight
• Physically inactive
• A smoker and/or excessively consumes alcohol
• Frequently consumes red meat
• Living with diagnosed or undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes
• Living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis

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