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Mar 6, 2009 · Leave a Reply

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

By Paul Scotti @paulscotti

Did you know that colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S., after lung cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, almost 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed and approximately 50,000 people died from the disease last year.

Since March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, now is a good time to learn more about this potentially deadly but highly preventable disease that can be detected and treated early through regular screenings. If you have a family history of the disease, or if you're over the age of 50, now is the time to make an appointment for a colonoscopy or other colorectal cancer screening method. All men and women should be screened every 5-10 years after age 50, earlier and more frequently if they have a family history of the disease.

In addition to regular screenings, eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet; exercising for at least 20 minutes 3-4 days a week; drinking alcohol only in moderation and not smoking are ways to reduce your risks for colorectal cancer.

Mayo Clinic is on the leading-edge when it comes to new advancements for screening and treating colorectal cancer. A clinical study at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville found that a new high-definition colonoscope (used in colonoscopy screening procedures) even further enhances the odds of identifying small polyps in the colon that can lead to cancer. When surgery is required, new minimally invasive procedures, such as laparoscopic or endoscopic resections, allow more patients to undergo curative surgery without the need for lengthy hospital stays, less pain and significantly less recuperation time.

So take charge of your health and schedule your colorectal cancer screening examination today.

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