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Health Department Notes: Get blue for Colon Cancer Awareness Month

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and Friday, March 2, is National Dress in Blue Day. Help slash stats by joining the Colon Cancer Alliance’s Dress in Blue Day movement. Through this national campaign and their screening, research and patient support initiatives, we can knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers for good.

Did you know colon cancer is the second leading cause of overall cancer deaths in the United States? But it doesn’t have to stay this way.

Early detection through screening can dramatically reduce your risk. This means having your colon checked regularly starting at age 50, or sooner if you are at higher risk.

Many people do not realize that simply aging can make you more at risk for developing colon cancer and that early colon cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms. But there are steps you can take to reduce your risk for the disease. So what can you do?

• Get screened at age 50, or sooner if you are at higher risk

• Maintain a healthy weight

• Adopt a physically active lifestyle

• Eat a healthy diet

• Don’t use tobacco products

• Limit alcohol intake

Colorectal cancer is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented because colorectal cancer screening allows doctors to find and remove hidden growths, called “polyps,” before they become cancer. Removing polyps can prevent cancer altogether. In fact, researchers believe that half of colorectal cancer deaths could potentially be prevented if everyone age 50 and older received recommended screenings.

Woodford County Health Department is raising awareness about colorectal cancer prevention, and helping to educate people that colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable.

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