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Future Health

National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March 4, 2019 

March is National Colorectal Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is cancer of the large intestine, otherwise known as the colon. Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer diagnosed and the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be. The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to get screening regularly beginning at age 50.

Signs and symptoms of colon cancer include:

  • A change in bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool, that lasts longer than four weeks
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

Risk factors include:

  • Older age
  • African-American race
  • A personal history of colorectal cancer
  • Inflammatory intestinal conditions
  • Inherited syndromes that increase colon cancer risk
  • Family history of colon cancer
  • Low-fiber, high-fat diet
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Radiation therapy for cancer


  • Screenings
  • Eating healthy
  • Stop smoking
  • Consume less alcohol
  • Exercise / maintain a healthy weight

Take steps for prevention – maintain a healthy lifestyle and make a screening appointment with your doctor.