COLORECTAL SCREENING ~ GET THE FACTS. GET SCREENED.
According to the Maine CDC, Screen ME program, “Getting screened for colon cancer could save your life. Nearly 300 Mainers die from colon cancer each year, but as many as 90% of these deaths can be prevented by screening.”
Colorectal cancer affects both women and men of all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people aged 50 or older. Early detection of cancer is the most effective way to improve chances of positive outcomes. Many deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented if everyone aged 50 or older had regular screening tests. Colorectal cancer screening saves lives.
Cancers are caused by modifiable risk factors, genes and influenced by environmental factors. Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. The colon is the large intestine or large bowel. The rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus.
There are some risk factors for colorectal cancer that you may not be able to control such a:
- Age over 50
- A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps. Knowing your family’s history is important.
- Inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
- Certain hereditary syndromes
The risk factors for colorectal cancer that you can change:
Signs & Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer
- Physical inactivity
- High-fat, low fiber diets
- Tobacco use
- Excessive alcohol use
- SOMETIMES NONE – early colorectal cancer often may have any symptoms.
- Blood in or on stool
- Frequent abdominal discomfort
- Pencil thin stools
- Unexplained weight loss
If you should have any of these symptoms, discuss them with your doctor. Even if you don’t have any symptoms but you are over the age of 50 and you have never been screened, start now.
What are things you can do to prevent colorectal cancer?
Exercise regularly! Exercise help to maintain a healthy weight. Make sure to check with your doctor if you have not been physically active and plan to start exercising.
Maintain a healthy weight! Increase the fiber and reduce the fat in your diet. Healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight may have protective effects. A diet rich in vegetables and fruits may prevent cancer and other disease. Whole grains from breads, cereals, nuts and beans may also provide protective effects. Folic acid has been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease and colon, cervical and breast cancers.
Join RFGH for our weight management program.
Weigh to Go starts at Redington-Fairview General Hospital on Monday, April 15th. Weigh to Go is an 8-week weight loss series, taught by RFGH dietitians, emphasizes permanent weight loss through healthy choices. Weight loss can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes risk, risk for heart disease, cancer and more. For more information & to reserve space, please call 858-2318.
Road to Wellness is another program RFGH offers that is for individuals who want to loss 100 pounds or more. It is being offered Mondays, April 15-June 10 from 2:30-3:00 p.m. Please call 858-2318 for more information.
Stop Smoking! Need help with tobacco cessation? Call it Quits! Call the Maine Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-207-1230 or contact Somerset Heart Health at 474-7473 and ask about the resources. Joint the FREE Tobacco Cessation Support Group on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month from 5:30-6:30 pm at RFGH, Conference Room 2. Call 858-2318 to reserve space.
GET SCREENED FOR COLORECTAL CANCER: Colorectal cancer screeing saves lives! Talk to your doctor and screen for life. If you are over 50, get screened for colorectal cancer. Screening tests an find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer and can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment is most effective.