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DOH-Palm Beach Supports National Cancer Awareness Month

March 08, 2019

DOH-Palm Beach. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer affects all racial and ethnic groups and is most common in people ages 50 and older. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancers that affect both men and women, yet it can be prevented or detected at an early stage. Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps in the colon or rectum. A polyp is a growth that should not be there. Polyps take years to grow. Someone could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it. There are often no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer. Symptoms may include blood in or on your stool (bowel movement); stomach pain, aches, or cramps that don't go away; and losing weight and you don't know why. Screening tests can find polyps so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. There are several types of screening tests for colorectal cancer, including some that you can do at home. You should talk to your healthcare provider about the one that is right for you.

Research is underway to find out if changes to our diet can reduce colorectal cancer risk. Medical experts often recommend a diet low in animal fats and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Several studies recommend being physical active, limiting alcohol consumption, and avoiding tobacco may also reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign to increase screening among people aged 50 years and older. To test your knowledge about colorectal cancer, visit https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/sfl/quiz/ and https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/index.htm for more information.

Join us in raising awareness on by wearing blue in honor of the families affected by colorectal cancer and help us by encouraging your loved ones to have regular colorectal cancer screenings, especially those at an increased risk. Visit the Colorectal Cancer Alliance at https://www.ccalliance.org to learn more about the annual National Dress in Blue Day, the screening test options, and how to prevent colorectal cancer.