Did you know that the month of March brings awareness to Colorectal Cancer? According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer that affects Americans.
Do You Know Your Risk Factors?
Many people don’t know what the risk factors are, or how those risks affect them. For everyone, including men, women, all ethnicities, races and cultural backgrounds, age is the biggest risk factor.
Do You have a Family History of Colon Cancer?
Is there a history of colon polyps or colon cancer in your family? If you don’t know the answer, make a point of finding out. Knowing about your family’s background will help your doctor help you do what you can to eliminate other risk factors.
Lynch syndrome is an inherited condition in which a person has a higher risk of cancers of the digestive tract, uterine, ovarian, urinary tract, kidney, pancreatic and brain cancer. People with Lynch syndrome have a significantly higher risk of developing colon and other cancers. They also have a slightly higher risk of developing breast and prostate cancer.
The Importance of Screening and Early Detection
The CDC reports that over 90% of the diagnosed cases of colon cancer are found in men and women who are over the age of 50. It is the number two cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. A lot of those deaths could have been prevented through screening. Colonoscopies can find abnormal, potentially precancerous growths that are known as polyps. Those polyps are common in both men and women.
Lifestyle Habits that May Elevate Colon Cancer Risk
There are many lifestyle practices and habits that people develop over time, and they may not realize that these behaviors are increasing their risk of developing colon cancer.
• Do you eat a lot of red meat or processed meat products? People who eat a lot of lunch meat products, hot dogs, and red meats (including beef, pork, lamb, organ meats, bison, and elk) may be unknowingly increasing their risk of developing colon cancer.
• Do you eat enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains every day? Both the Colon Cancer Alliance and the American Cancer Society suggest that eating a fiber-rich diet may lessen the likelihood that you develop colon cancer. The American Cancer Society notes, however, that fiber supplements aren’t a suitable substitute for healthy foods. Look for whole grain bread, cereals and pasta instead of products that are made with bleached or refined flour or grains.
Show Your Support by Taking Part in National Dress in Blue Day
March 3 is a day on which the colon cancer community unites to campaign for a colon cancer free world. A dark blue ribbon brings awareness to colon cancer, so you can show your support all month long by wearing, selling or giving away any of the Choose Hope Colon Cancer Awareness Products.
If you’re approaching the age of 50, or know that you have a family history of colon cancer, talk to your doctor to find out what you need to do to begin a conventional protocol of colon cancer screening and prevention. Colon cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer. Take control of your health by making simple changes that will lower your risk of developing colon cancer while reducing the severity of other health problems or eliminating them entirely.