Spring Into Action During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

by | Mar 2024

March Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, Woman holding dark Blue Ribbon for supporting people living and illness. Healthcare, hope and World cancer day concept

iStock/Panuwat Dangsungnoen

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. As a gastroenterologist, I’m always eager to share information about how colorectal cancer screenings save lives. Here are three things to know:

  1. Colon cancer screenings help find cancer in people with no symptoms. Many people don’t experience symptoms in the early stages of cancer, so screening might be the only way to know if you have it. This matters because the sooner you start treatment, the more likely you are to be cured.
  2. Getting older increases your risk of colorectal cancer. Most colorectal cancers are found in people over 45 years old, and that’s why screening is recommended for everyone between the ages of 45 and 75. If someone has a family history of colorectal cancer, I often recommend starting sooner.
  3. You’ve got screening options. A colonoscopy is the best way to check the lining of your colon for signs of precancers and cancers. And since we’re able to get a good look, you probably won’t need another colonoscopy for 10 years. Another screening option is the FIT test, an annual stool test you do at home. This test checks for blood in your stool, which can be a sign of precancers or cancers.

David Stolpman, MD, is a gastroenterologist at Park Nicollet Digestive and Endoscopy Center. Learn more at healthpartners.com.


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