Early detection key to preventing colon cancer

  • Thursday, March 7, 2013

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and Elms Digestive encourages area residents to participate in preventative colon cancer screenings, particularly this month, to help build awareness for one of the leading cancers found in both men and women. With early detection and regular screening, colon cancer is 90 percent preventable.

Elms Digestive is setting a goal of scheduling the most new patient colonoscopies this March than ever before, with an emphasis on Friday, March 8, National Colon Cancer Screening Day. A colonoscopy is the only test that allows both detection and prevention. Local residents may schedule a colonoscopy by calling 843-797-6800 or by visiting www.elmsdigestive.com.

Facts about colon cancer:

• Colon cancer is the third most common cancer, killing more than 50,000 people every year, while another 140,000 are diagnosed annually.

• While men and women are equally likely to suffer from colon cancer, there are certain risk factors that may increase the likelihood of diagnosis.

• Individuals 50 years of age and older are at an increased risk, as are smokers, inactive or obese individuals, and those with a personal or family history of bowel disease.

• African Americans are at higher risk for colon cancer and should begin regular screenings at age 45 and older.

Warning signs of colon cancer include sudden changes in bowel habits, recurring diarrhea or constipation, cramping or abdominal pain, unintended weight loss, or blood in the stool.

“Each March, Colon Cancer Awareness Month serves as a great reminder for individuals 50 years and older, or those with a family history of colon cancer, to be screened,” said Dr. Greg Goodear. “With regular screenings, colon cancer, which is one of the leading cancers found in both men and women, can be detected early and treated quickly.”

To learn more about Colon Cancer Awareness Month and preventative screenings, visit www.ccalliance.org and www.elmsdigestive.com.

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