March 20, 2019
What is the most important thing you need to know about colon cancer? It is mostly preventable, through screening.
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and while it may not be the most glamorous topic for your upcoming dinner party, your trusted team at Sheridan Memorial Hospital (SMH) wants to make sure you know the facts about colon cancer and how to get help.
We all have stories of family members, friends or acquaintances who have been diagnosed with some form of cancer only to find out later it might have been prevented with regular checkups and screenings. Fortunately, there are multiple screening test optionsfor colon cancer, and most insurance plans cover these screenings.
What You Can Do
– If you’re age 50-75, get screened for colon cancer regularly. If you are younger than 50 and think you may be at high risk, or if you are older than 75, ask your doctor if you should get a screening.
– Be physically active
– Maintain a healthy weight
– Don’t drink excessive amounts of alcohol
– Don’t smoke or use tobacco products
Colon Cancer Facts
– Of the cancers that affect both men and women, it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the US according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
– Each year, about 140,000 Americans get colon cancer and more than 50,000 die from it.
– Risk increase with age. More than 90% of this type of cancer occurs in people who are age 50 or older.
– It is possible to have precancerous polyps or colon cancer and not have any symptoms at first. This is why the screening is so important.
– If you have symptoms, they could include:
o Blood in the stool
o Stomach pains, aches, or cramps that don’t go away
o Losing weight and you don’t know why
(These symptoms may also be caused by something other than cancer. If you have them, consult your physician.)
The CDC estimates that 66% of Americans age 50-75 are screened according to national guidelines. This is up from 41% in 1997. Progress is being made, but millions still haven’t been screened as recommended.
If you find yourself with a colon cancer diagnosis, finding a trusted and reputable cancer treatment center is essential. At the Sheridan Memorial Hospital Welch Cancer Center, we have hand-picked our expert team of dedicated staff. You will also find the latest treatment technologies in a state-of-the-art facility. The Welch Cancer Center is one of the most comprehensive cancer programs in Wyoming right here, close to home.
For more information on screenings and treatment, please click here or call the Welch Cancer Center at 307.674.6022.
March 20, 2019