Winona Health is lit up in blue during March, which is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, to shine a light on the importance of colon cancer screening. Caregivers at Winona Health encourage everyone to schedule regular checkups and stay on track with health screenings to catch health issues before they become serious.

What can be done to reduce the risk of colon cancer? According to the Minnesota Colon Cancer Coalition, a nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis:

• Get screened as recommended, starting at age 45, or earlier for those with certain risk factors.

• Know your family’s cancer history.

• Maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and adopt a physically active lifestyle.

• Understand the symptoms, pay attention to your body, and talk with your health care provider if you experience blood in your stool, chronic constipation, or unexplained weight loss.

• Consume a healthy diet high in fiber, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while limiting consumption of red and processed meats.

• Limit your alcohol consumption, and don’t smoke.

The American Cancer Society also recommends that screening for colon and rectal cancer begin at age 45 for average risk individuals and earlier for people with a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps.

If you’re due for an annual wellness visit, contact Winona Health at 507-454-3650. To learn more about health screening that may be right for you, visit