March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer among men and women in the United States. Living a healthy lifestyle can help lower your risk of this type of cancer. If you are 50 or older, getting a colorectal cancer screening test could save your life. Testing can often find colon cancer early, when it’s most treatable.

Ninety percent of colon cancer begins when polyps become cancerous. A polyp is a small growth that attaches itself to the inner wall of the colon. Anyone can get colon polyps, but certain people are more likely to get them than others. You may have a greater chance of getting polyps if:

you're 50 years of age or older

you've had polyps before

someone in your family has had polyps

someone in your family has had cancer of the large intestine, also called colon cancer

you've had uterine or ovarian cancer before age 50

Some ways to prevent colon cancer can include eating a healthy diet high in fiber and low in fats, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, and decreasing the amount of stress in your life.

The fecal occult blood test (FOBTis used as a screening tool to check for early colon cancer. “Hidden” blood in the stool may be the only signs of early cancer.  And, if found early, treatment can start right away, improving the chance of a cure.

Four Corners Health Department encourages you to get screened for colon cancer. This simple test can be done in the comfort and privacy of your own home. If you are 50 or older talk to your health care provider about getting a kit, or scheduling a colonoscopy.

FOBT kits will be available at the Four Corners booth during the Memorial Health Care Systems health fair in Seward on Wednesday, April 3rd, from 5:30 am to noon.

More information about this topic and other resources can be found at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/colonandrectumcancer/ or http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/ or www.fourcorners.ne.gov.

You can contact Four Corners Health Department @ 1-877-337-3573,

or locally @ 402-362-2621.