March is so more than World Maths and Saint Paddy’s Day, more importantly its colorectal cancer month. For a quick cheat on what to watch for, go here and click on the Colorectal infographic. Not enough for you? Wasn’t for us either, this is why we’re friends. If you know what FCancer is all about, you know that we are constantly shouting from the rooftops (yes, our neighbours ask us to stop shouting all the time) the importance of early detection.
The tricky part about colorectal cancer is that it can be incredibly hard to detect. It usually offers no symptoms until it is in an advanced stage, making survival much less likely. When symptoms do rear their ugly heads, you can expect to see a range from abdominal cramps and pain, bloody bowel movements, diarrhea or weight loss. It’s been estimated that even slight efforts at stepping up colorectal screening methods would lead to a whopping 29% drop in cancer deaths in 20 years; yet here we are in 2011 and colorectal screening rates are STILL low. So here we go again with our mantra…. KNOW YOUR RISK! Screening for the disease is recommended for individuals who are at increased risk, so the important question to ask is do you know your risk?
People over the age of 50 are at risk, and that risk skyrockets if a person has other colon ailments like colitis or Crohn’s disease. And as always, your diet counts, perhaps more so with this cancer than others. So if you eat more burgers than broccoli and spend your days in front of a computer and then a TV, you need to listen up! All of that increases your risk for colorectal (and other) cancers. So have a chat with your family. Better to have a somewhat uncomfortable conversation than a late stage cancer diagnosis, don’t you think? Seem like a lot of doom and gloom? We’re not trying to scare you, just encouraging you to take life saving actions (GET SCREENED) and have those conversations with your friends, your family and of course, your doctor. The good news? There is much in your control. So take it!
The FC Team