Push to continue colon cancer screenings amidst pandemic
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and the Nevada Cancer Coalition (NCC) says it’s time to get back on track with screenings that were put off because of the Coronavirus.
“Cancer never sleeps. This is something that goes on year-round.”
In Nevada, Colorectal Cancer is the third most common form of cancer. Nationwide, it’s the second deadliest cancer for men and the third for women, according to the American Cancer Society.
“Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer,” Cassie Goodman, Cancer Early Detection Programs Manager with NCC said.
The nonprofit says Screenings are the number one way to reduce your risk, and they can still be done safely even during COVID-19.
Goodman added, “There is a choice between a colonoscopy and a stool-based test that you can do at home.”
Experts suggest getting a colonoscopy once every ten years starting at age 45. If you do the take-home stool test, that should be repeated annually. Goodman says to listen to your body and if something feels off, contact your doctor.
“Things like stomach cramps or blood in your stool,” Goodman said, “But really what we want to push for is getting these screenings done before you have symptoms.”
There are some key contributors that can help lower your chance of developing colon cancer. Goodman added, “Eating a healthy diet, lower in red meats and processed foods and sugars, and then exercise. When we move, we’re moving things through our digestive tract and we’re keeping our colons clean and healthy.”
As we age, our likelihood of getting this disease inevitably goes up. Goodman says no one should have to go through it alone.
“It’s nothing to be ashamed of; we should be talking about it. Please encourage your friends and family to get their screenings, and let’s make it part of our normal yearly conversations.”
The nonprofit is available to help guide you with any questions regarding screenings or colon cancer. For more information, click here.
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