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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and CHI Franciscan has some tips


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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and Advertiser CHI Franciscan has some important information:

Colorectal Cancer Screening: Myth vs. Fact

Just in time for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, CHI Franciscan helps clear up common colorectal cancer screening myths.

Myth: I don’t need a screening if there’s no history of colorectal cancer in my family.

Fact: More than 75 percent of patients who have colorectal cancer have no family history. Age is the primary risk factor for developing colon polyps that can then turn into cancer—which is why a routine screening starting at age 50 is so important.

Myth: People usually notice symptoms before a colon cancer diagnosis.

Fact: Colorectal cancer often has no symptoms until the latest stages of the disease, when it’s the hardest to treat and difficult to survive. Screenings, and healthy lifestyle habits are the best way for preventing colorectal cancers before they have symptoms and before they become deadly.

Myth:Colon cancer is always deadly.

Fact: The earliest stages of colon cancer are the most treatable. The five-year survival rate for stage I colon cancer is 92 percent. It’s a curable cancer when diagnosed early enough.

Myth: There’s nothing you can do to reduce your risk of getting colon cancer.

Fact: Lifestyle changes can affect your risk of colon cancer. Eating a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and exercising regularly can reduce your risk. Quitting smoking can also lessen your risk.

Colorectal cancer is largely preventable with regular screening and treatable with early detection.

Talk to your doctor about getting screened if:

  • You are 50 years of age or older
  • You have a close relative who has had colorectal cancer or polyps
  • You are at higher risk with an inherited genetic syndrome (such as Lynch syndrome)
  • You are African American or American Indian

For more information, go to chifranciscan.org/colonscreening. To schedule an appointment for a screening colonoscopy, call (253) 284-5197, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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