Did you know that colon cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Manitoba? However, if colon cancer is detected early, it can be cured 9 out of 10 times! March is colon cancer awareness month, and it is a great time to learn more about colon cancer screening and what you can do to reduce your risk of colon cancer.
Colon cancer also known as colorectal or bowel cancer, starts from small growths (polyps) in your colon. Polyps can grow for several years without symptoms. Most of the time, polyps do not turn into cancer, but sometimes they can if they are not removed. The greatest risk factor for colon cancer is age, most diagnoses come after the age of 50. Fortunately, there is an easy and convenient way for people to check for colon cancer using the home fecal occult blood test (FOBT). The FOBT looks for hidden blood in your stool, which can be a sign of colon cancer. If you are between the age of 50-74 you can request a kit at GetAColonCheck.ca
Screening is one of the most important things to do to reduce your risk of colon cancer, but here are a few other things you can do!
- Live smoke-free
- Move more
- Eat healthy
- Avoid alcohol
- Maintain a healthy weight
Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following colon health symptoms: blood in your stool, abdominal discomfort that lasts more than a few weeks, change in bowel habits that lasts more than a few weeks, exhaustion or weight loss that you cannot explain.
For more information on colon cancer screening and prevention visit CancerCare Manitoba’s ColonCheck website at GetAColonCheck.ca