March: Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month - get to know the risks
Colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. No one knows the exact causes of colorectal cancer. Doctors often cannot explain why one person develops this disease while others do not. Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop colorectal cancer.
These risk factors for colorectal cancer include:
People age 50 and older
People who smoke
People who are overweight or obese, especially those who carry fat around their waists
People who aren't physically active
People who drink alcohol in excess, especially men
People who each a lot of red meat (such as beef, pork or lamb) or processed meat (such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs or cold cuts)
People with personal or family histories of colorectal cancer or benign (not cancerous) colorectal polyps
People with personal histories of inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease)
People with family histories of inherited colorectal cancer or inherited colorectal problems
Although a leading cause of cancer death for both men and women, if detected early, colorectal cancer can be successfully treated. If you feel that you may be at risk for colon cancer, talk with your doctor. For more information on the risk factors visit www.preventcancer.org or talk to a physician.
Healthy Habits 2013 is a partnership among Cabell Huntington Hospital, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and St. Mary's Medical Center. We are a community working together to improve our health. Our goal is a simple one: to inform and encourage area residents on ways to improve their health. Join our conversation and "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/healthyhabits2013.
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