Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, dedicated to spreading awareness about preventing and treating this condition, which is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

It is estimated that more than 140,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2012, and if you have Type 2 diabetes, you are at increased risk. For people who have no identified risk factors, regular screenings for colorectal cancer are recommended starting at age 50. Those with risk factors beyond their age (such as diabetes) should speak with their doctor about when to start screenings and how frequently to be screened.

For more information about colorectal cancer screening tests, and for guidance if you or a loved one is dealing with this condition, see the following resources:

The colorectal cancer awareness page of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site provides information about symptoms and screening, as well as several short videos, and a list of questions to ask your doctor. Information is also available in Spanish.

The colon and rectal cancer page on the Web site of the National Cancer Institute includes information about colorectal cancer screening, information about various types of treatment, and information about clinical trials, including how to find a cancer treatment trial.

The American Cancer Society’s colon/rectum cancer Web page includes information about early detection, facts and figures, links to online communities and services that provide lodging and transportation for people undergoing treatments, side effect tracking worksheets, stories of hope, and more.

The Web site of the Colon Club includes an active forum for people dealing with colorectal cancer, information about their prevention efforts — such as the Colossal Colon (a 40-foot long model of the colon, complete with various colon conditions, that visitors can crawl through) — and links to related sites.

On, the article “Preventing Colorectal Cancer” provides information about the condition and its risk factors, as well as how diet and other lifestyle factors influence risk.

This blog entry was written by Web Editor Diane Fennell.

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