Steven Snow, MD
Internal Medicine & Chief Medical Officer, MCMC
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States with most cases occurring in adults older than 50 but more and more cases are cropping up in younger adults.
Colorectal cancer includes cancers of the colon and rectum. Colon cancer begins as non-cancerous growths or polyps on the lining of the colon which often present no symptoms and can become cancerous over time. The best detection for these precancers is through a colonoscopy where any growths that are found are removed and sent for further testing.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends the following:
- Adults Ages 50-75: Begin regular colorectal cancer screenings.
- Adults Ages 76-85: The decision to screen for colorectal cancer ages 76-85 should
be an individual one, taking into account your overall health and prior screening
history. Adults in this age group who have never been screened for colorectal cancer
are more likely to benefit.
- Additionally, if you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or
premature polyps, a screening colonoscopy prior to age 50 may be recommended.
How can you reduce your risk?
- Get screened as recommended, starting at age 50, or earlier for those with certain risk factors and stay up-to-date on your screenings.
- Know your family’s cancer history.
- Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active.
- Consume a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
while limiting red and processed meats.
- Limit your alcohol consumption and don’t smoke.
- Understand the symptoms, and talk with your health care provider if you experience blood in your stool, chronic constipation or unexplained weight loss.
Benefits to having your colonoscopy at MCMC in Slayton:
- We provide expert, compassionate care close to home. You don’t have to travel far.
- You’ll get a meal on us! We are providing a complimentary breakfast/meal for all colonoscopy patients to be redeemed after the procedure. We understand that after all of that prep and fasting you are hungry and ready to eat!