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Doctors urge colorectal screenings during National Colorectal Awareness Month


Globally cases of colorectal cancer are estimated to increase by 56% between 2020 and 2040, to more than 3 million new cases per year.

This is according to projections from the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Colorectal cancer, the term used to describe colon or rectal cancer, can’t always be prevented but finding it early can give someone the best chance of successfully treating it.

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common form of cancer in the U.S. and the second deadliest.

It most commonly starts as an abnormal growth on the lining of the intestines.

Those polyps can eventually develop into cancer.

The good news is that those polyps can be removed before they develop into cancer, says Aspirus Physician Assistant Sherry Hughes.

“Regardless of if someone has symptoms of colorectal cancer, they should still get screened starting at the age of 45. It’s important to get screened, no matter what you think in terms of if you feel you have a healthy lifestyle or you don’t have any family history, you should still get screened for colorectal cancer,” said Hughes.

Most colorectal cancers develop in people older than 50.

One in ten cases has been found in younger people and the rate has been increasing.

While factors outside your control can increase your risk, some lifestyle choices can also increase it.

“The risk factors for colorectal cancer are family history, genetic conditions that can lead to colorectal cancer and a diet that’s high in red meat and lamb and processed meats,” said Hughes.

Maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active for at least half an hour a day can also help prevent cancer.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

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