March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among cancers that affect both men and women in the US, second to Lung Cancer.

Anyone over the age of 50 should be screened for colorectal cancer. Screening saves lives. It can detect pre-cancerous polyps in the colon and they can be removed before they turn into cancer.  Screenings can also detect cancer earlier so that treatment can be initiated. Early treatment often leads to a cure.

If you have inflammatory bowel disease or have a family history of colorectal cancer you are at a higher risk for developing colorectal cancer.  Any one over the age of 50, or those who are at higher risk due to family history or existing health conditions, should contact their physician to discuss colorectal cancer screening.

Signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer can include blood in or on a bowel movement; constipation or diarrhea; stomach pain, aches or cramps that doesn’t go away; or unknown reason for weight loss; stools that are narrower than usual and fatigue.  If you have any of these you should contact your physician immediately.

Screening and early treatment are the key to prevention and cure of colorectal cancer.

NIH: National Institute of Health