Colorectal cancer screening - it’s not as bad as you think

It may be awkward to think about colorectal screenings, but colorectal cancer, or cancer of the rectum or colon, is the second leading cause of cancer-related death for both men and women, but it is also easily detected.

Screening can find growths before they become cancerous and detect cancer at an early stage when it is highly treatable. And, most of the time, you will hardly even know it has happened. Link to website.

Everyone over the age of 50 should be screened for colorectal cancer, even if you do not have a family history or symptoms.

There are several colorectal screening options. One initial screening, the stool sample, is a convenient, private, and non-invasive test that can be completed at home. Other reliable options, which may be recommended by your health care provider include the Flexible Sigmoidoscopy and Colonoscopy. These tests are encouraged, and covered by the Oregon Health Plan.

Talk to your health care provider about the screening option that’s right for you.

Other ways to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer include:

  • Getting active and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating healthily
  • Quitting smoking

Other resources:
http://www.careoregon.org/Health-Wellness/StayingHealthy/ColorectalCancerAwareness.aspx
http://www.cancer.gov/types/colorectal/screening-fact-sheet

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