National Screening Day

national screening day, colon cancerWhat are you doing on March 8? If you have a family history of polyps or are over the age of 50 (45 if you are an African American), you should be getting screened for Colon Cancer. March 8, 102013 is National Screening Day, and the goal is for individuals who have never been screened for colon cancer but have one of the risk factors get screened.

Though scientists are unsure of exactly what causes colon and colorectal cancer, some risk factors have been identified, including:

  • Being over age 50
  • Being over age 45, if you’re African American
  • Polyps, growths inside the colon and rectum that may become cancerous
  • A high-fat diet
  • Family or personal history of colon cancer or polyps
  • Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease or other inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Growth hormone disorder
  • Radiation therapy for cancer

It’s important to note that almost 80 percent of colon cancer cases have no prior family history. Most cases have no symptoms. Beginning at age 50, both men and women at average risk should get screened. If you have one or more risk factors, you may need to get screened earlier or more frequently. Click here to find out the various screening methods.

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