March – Colorectal Cancer Month

Did you know March was Colorectal Cancer and Endometriosis month? 

This month we’re getting a 2 for 1 special! I was originally only going to cover endometriosis, but when I learned that colorectal cancer was the #3 leading cause of cancer death in African Americans, I decided that it needed some attention. Today I’ll give you a few pearls about colorectal cancer and later this month well look at endometriosis.

Colorectal cancer:  

  • The third most common cancer in the United State
  • The second leading cause of death from all cancers  
  • Most common in people age 50 and older 
  • African Americans have the highest colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates of all racial groups in the US 

Risk Factors: ( * = risks that can be changed) 

  • Obesity and inactivity* 
  • Poor diet* 
  • Smoking* 
  • Heavy alcohol uses* 
  • The presence of colorectal polyps 
  • History of inflammatory bowel disease 
  • Family history of polyps or colorectal cancer 
  • Type 2 Diabetes 
  • African American Race 

Signs and Symptoms: 

  • A change in your 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 

Prevention: The good news? If everyone age 50 and older got regular screenings, 6 out of 10 deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented. You can also make simple lifestyle modifications to help reduce your risks see the list below for simple steps to take control of your health: 

  • Get a colorectal screening 
  • Watch you weight 
  • Quit smoking 
  • Eat a diet rich in fiber 
  • Drink in moderation 
  • Get active and eat healthy 

Healthy bodies are beautiful bodies. Please take the time to be aware of the different issues that may affect you and make a conscious effort to prevent them. For more information please visit the American Cancer Society’s site: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer.html 

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