Tuesday, March 5, is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Day and Winona Health will be lit up in blue joining health care organizations across Minnesota in shining a light on the importance of colon cancer screening. The lights at Winona Health will shine blue for the week.
The American Cancer Society now recommends that screening for colon and rectal cancer should begin at age 45 for average-risk individuals. Screening should start earlier for individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps. One in 23 Americans will be diagnosed with this cancer in their lifetime, and one in five of those will be diagnosed before the age of 55.
What can be done to reduce the risk of colon cancer? According to the Colon Cancer Coalition, a nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis, Minn.:
• Get screened as recommended, starting at age 45 or earlier for those with certain risk factors.
• Maintain a healthy weight and adopt a physically active lifestyle.
• Understand the symptoms and talk with your doctor if you experience blood in your stool, chronic constipation or unexplained weight loss.
• Consume a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains while limiting consumption of red and processed meats.
• Limit your alcohol consumption and don’t smoke.
Those who would like to know more about the general surgeons who perform this screening procedure can visit winonahealth.org and find information about general surgeons Matthew Broghammer, DO; Wen-Yu Vicky Haines, MD, FACS; and Crystal Lumi, MD, FACS.
Those who haven’t scheduled a colonoscopy because they don’t have a regular health care provider may call 507-454-3650 to establish care with a provider. Learn more about local health care providers online at winonahealth.org — click “Find a Provider.”
About the Colon Cancer Coalition
The Colon Cancer Coalition is a nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis dedicated to encouraging screening and raising awareness of colon cancer. The organization’s signature Get Your Rear in Gear® and Tour de Tush® event series are volunteer-driven in communities throughout the United States. By making the words colon, colorectal and colonoscopy a part of everyday language, the coalition believes it can overcome the fear and decrease deaths from this largely preventable cancer. For more information visit ColonCancerCoalition.org.