Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be!
If you’re 45 or older, get screened for colorectal cancer. Getting screened for colorectal cancer helps prevent the disease.
You pick up a FREE colorectal cancer screening kit at Onslow Diagnostics throughout the month of March. Kits can be picked up at 200 Memorial Dr., Jacksonville, NC 28546 from March 1-31 and must be returned within 72 hours of collection.
Onslow Diagnostics’ hours of operation: Monday-Friday 7:00 am to 5:00 pm or Saturday 8:00 am to 12:00 pm.
If you have any questions, please call (910) 577-2900.
What is Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer is a disease in which cells in the colon or rectum grow out of control. Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short. The colon is the large intestine or large bowel. The rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus.
Sometimes abnormal growths, called polyps, form in the colon or rectum. Over time, some polyps may turn into cancer. Screening tests can find polyps so they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment works best.
What Are the Risk Factors?
Your risk of getting colorectal cancer increases as you get older. Other risk factors include having—
- Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
- A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps.
- A genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).
Lifestyle factors that may contribute to an increased risk of colorectal cancer include—
- Lack of regular physical activity.
- A diet low in fruit and vegetables.
- A low-fiber and high-fat diet, or a diet high in processed meats.
- Overweight and obesity.
- Alcohol consumption.
- Tobacco use.
What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk?
Overall, the most effective way to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer is to get screened for colorectal cancer routinely, beginning at age 45.
Almost all colorectal cancers begin as precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Such polyps can be present in the colon for years before invasive cancer develops. They may not cause any symptoms, especially early on. Colorectal cancer screening can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. In this way, colorectal cancer is prevented. Screening can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best.
Research is underway to find out if changes to your diet can reduce your colorectal cancer risk. Medical experts often recommend a diet low in animal fats and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to reduce the risk of other chronic diseases, such as coronary artery disease and diabetes. This diet also may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
Researchers are looking at the role of some medicines and supplements in preventing colorectal cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force found that taking low-dose aspirin can help prevent cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer in some adults, depending on age and risk factors. For more information, download Aspirin Use to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease and Colorectal Cancer: Preventive Medication.
Some studies suggest that people may reduce their risk of developing colorectal cancer by increasing physical activity, keeping a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, and avoiding tobacco.
Information retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.