Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., but if caught early, it’s 90 percent curable. That’s why screening is so important. This month we’re launching a number of awareness efforts to spread awareness about colon cancer risks and screening options.
To help raise awareness, 11 HealthPartners locations are lighting up in BLUE for the whole month of March! BLUE is not just a color; it’s a call to action. We want our community to:
- B -Be screened. Are you between the ages of 45 and 50? The American Cancer Society recommends screenings for men and women starting at age 50. If you are at a higher risk for colorectal cancer, including African American or American Indian, you should talk to your doctor about starting screenings earlier, at age 45.
- L – Live a healthy lifestyle. This means getting regular physical activity and consuming a wide variety of nutritious foods. Studies show that people can reduce their risk of developing colon cancer by limiting alcohol use and avoiding tobacco.
- U – Understand the facts about colon cancer. Most colon cancer screenings in the U.S. are done with a colonoscopy, a procedure that lets your doctor check the lining of your colon for any abnormalities. Don’t let the fear of a colonoscopy stop you. There are other options, even ones that you can do at home. The FIT Test is a stool test you do in the comfort of your own home, with no special diet to prepare for it.
- E – Engage others in talking about their family’s history of cancer. Most people who get colon cancer have no family history of the disease. But if you have a family member who has colon cancer, you may have a greater chance of getting it. You want your family members, like your parents and grandparents, to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
Talk to your doctor today to schedule your colonoscopy or find out if the FIT Test is right for you. With early detection and regular screenings, colon cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable.