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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

In February 2000, President Clinton officially dedicated March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Since then, it has grown to be a rallying point for the colorectal cancer community where thousands of patients, survivors, caregivers and advocates throughout the country join together to spread colorectal cancer awareness by wearing blue, holding fundraising and education events, talking to friends and family about screening and so much more.

Colorectal cancer, or CRC, is a disease of the colon or rectum, which are parts of the digestive system. CRC is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States. However, unlike most cancers, colorectal cancer is often preventable with screening and highly treatable when detected early. The five-year survival rate for colorectal cancer found at the local stage is 90 percent, compared to 14 percent for colorectal cancer found at distant stages. Each year, about 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with this disease and more than 50,000 die.

Most cases of colorectal cancer occur in people ages 45 and older, but the disease is increasingly affecting younger people. Colorectal cancer may develop without symptoms.

Be sure to watch for warning signs, including:

  • Rectal bleeding, dark or black stool
  • Diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Narrowing of stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort (cramps, gas, pain, or feeling bloated)
  • Anemia
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting

If you are 45 or older and at average risk, it’s time to get screened. Schedule your colonoscopy today.

Call 814-467-3653 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced and caring providers:

Learn more about CSSMCW’s gastroenterology services