March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, is one of a few types of cancer that can be prevented through regular cancer screenings, so it’s the perfect time to raise awareness and talk to your doctor about screening options
History of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
The Prevent Cancer Foundation first designated March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in 1999. The foundation worked with legislators, the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable and others to get the official designation from the United States Congress. The foundation has continued to raise awareness for colorectal cancer ever since and even came up with the tagline that is still used today: “Preventable. Treatable. Beatable!”
Why does colorectal cancer awareness matter?
According to the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associations, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. As people get older, they become more susceptible to developing colon cancer, whether they are male or female. Ninety percent of all cases of colon cancer occur in people who are over the age of 50, which is why doctors recommend people begin regular colon cancer screenings at that age. People at higher-than-average risk or those who have a family history of colon cancer should discuss screening at an earlier age.
What are the different screening options?
There are several ways to prevent colon cancer. Various screening methods are effective at monitoring changes and can be the first step in preventing the disease.
- Fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical tests (FIT): Stool blood tests, which can detect small amounts of blood in the stool, should be administered yearly.
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy: Every five years a physician should check inside the rectum and lower colon for polyps with a lighted tube.
- Double Contract Barium Enema: Every five years patients should have an enema with a barium solution and air pumped into rectum. Then x-rays are taken of the colon and rectum to detect polyps.
- Colonoscopy: Every 10 years a physician should examine the inside rectum and colon using a long, lighted tube called a colonoscope. The colonoscope is longer than a sigmoidoscope, which is used during a sigmoidoscopy, and allows physicians to view the entire colon.
For more facts about colon cancer, visit our website at www.cccnevada.com/colon-cancer/.
How can you get involved with Colon Cancer Awareness Month?
There are many ways to get involved with colon cancer awareness. The first, and most important, thing you should do this month is get a cancer screening if you are over the age 50. You can also raise awareness through donating, purchasing colon cancer awareness products, and even attending local events for colorectal cancer awareness in your community. You can even promote colon cancer awareness through social media, email blasts and even e-cards.
Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, an award-winning multi–specialty practice, has been providing cancer treatment services to patients since 1974. We offer treatment and clinical research trials for patients with colon cancer in Nevada. Within the past several years, CCCN has developed an extensive clinical research program, which gives our patients access to the most advanced colon cancer treatment options available. For a complete list of colon cancer research studies being conducted at CCCN, click here.
Visit our website at www.cccnevada.com to learn more about our cancer treatment centers or call 702-952-3350 to make an appointment.