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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Newswise, February 22, 2011 —
According to the American Cancer Society,
nearly 143,000 new cases of the disease were
diagnosed in the United States last year.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common
type of cancer in the nation and is the
third leading cause of cancer death among
both men and women.
While the exact cause of most colorectal
cancers is not known, risk factors include
poor diet, lack of exercise, and having
polyps in the colon or rectum areas.
Those over age 50 also are at increased
risk. Beginning at age 50, it is recommended
that both men and women undergo periodic
colonoscopies, fecal occult blood tests
and/or other screenings that can detect
Earlier testing is recommended for people
with increased risk, such as those with a
family history of the disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, if everyone aged 50 or older
were screened regularly, as many as 60
percent of deaths from this cancer could be
Some signs of
colorectal cancer include:
• Bleeding from your rectum.
• Blood in the stool or toilet after you
have a bowel movement.
• A change in bowel habits, such as
diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the
stool, that lasts for more than a few days.
• Cramping pain in your lower stomach.
that colorectal cancer may be prevented by
maintaining a healthy weight, eating a diet
rich in fruit and vegetables, keeping
physically active and limiting the use of