Colorectal Cancer
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Are You at Risk?

If you think you’re not at risk for colorectal cancer, think again.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in both men and women—and the second leading cause of cancer deaths—in the United States. When discovered early, however, it is very treatable. A colonoscopy is the best screening tool to ensure early detection. It can even prevent cancer by removing precancerous polyps.

If you have concerns about your colon health, don’t ignore the warning signs. Talk to your doctor immediately and get screened. After all, it could save your life.

Warning Signs

If you experience any of the following symptoms, set up an appointment to talk with your physician.

  • A change in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea, that lasts more than a few days
  • A feeling that the bowel does not empty
  • Blood in stool
  • Black stools
  • Stools that look narrower or thinner than normal
  • Abdominal discomfort such as frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Constant fatigue

Risk Factors

There are several risk factors that may increase your odds of developing colorectal cancer. If any of the following factors apply to you, talk with your health care provider about getting an early screening (those with no identified risk should begin screening at age 50).

  • A family history of colorectal or endometrial cancer
  • A personal history of polyps or colorectal cancer
  • A personal history of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease
  • Race (African-Americans have a greater risk of colon cancer)
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • A low-fiber, high-fat diet

Home Screening Test

Thanks to the work of the Lancaster County Crusade Against Colon Cancer, Lincoln residents have access to a free home screening test. The test checks for hidden blood in the stool—a potential sign of colorectal cancer. If you are age 50 or older, you qualify for a FREE colon cancer test kit. Visit www.LancasterCrusade.org for a list of pharmacies offering the kits.