In recognition of Colon Cancer Awareness Month this March, here’s a brief guide to facts, risk factors and prevention tips for colorectal cancer.
Colon Cancer Facts
Colon cancer affects the colon (the large intestine) and rectal cancer forms in the rectum (the last few inches of the colon, closest to the anus). Together, these two cancers are the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
The American Cancer Society predicts that in 2014, more than 96,000 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer and 40,000 people will contract rectal cancer. Overall, colorectal cancers will cause about 50,310 deaths this year.
The good news is that the colorectal cancer survival rates have been steadily increasing over the past few decades. More people are getting screened and treatments are improving. Right now, there are over 1 million colorectal cancer survivors in the U.S.
Colon Cancer Risk Factors
You’re more likely to get colorectal cancer if:
Colon Cancer Prevention Tips
To help prevent colon cancer, you can stop smoking and avoid red meats, for starters. Make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Stay physically active, and work off the belly fat that can sometimes contribute to colorectal cancer. And, get screened early!
Colorectal cancer screening is one of the few screening procedures that can actually prevent cancer, if you catch it early enough.
To find out about more cancer awareness months throughout the year, click to read this article.
Talk to us in the comments! What are you doing to recognize colon cancer awareness month?
(Image from MesotheliomaCancer1.info.)