March is colon cancer awareness month. Each year, colorectal cancer claims more than 50,000 American lives, making it the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to bring greater attention to this disease and educate others that this cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable.
Colon Cancer Screenings During Pandemic
Colon cancer won’t wait for a cure. During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the colorectal cancer detection rates declined 32% from 2019 due to the shelter-in-place orders and shuttered health facilities.
It’s important to emphasize the importance of not putting off necessary health maintenance services like colon cancer screening or not seeking an evaluation for digestive symptoms. Colon cancer comes from colon polyps and during the colonoscopy polyps are removed, effectively preventing colon cancer. Even if a cancer is found early being detected in a localized stage (has not spread outside of colon or rectum), the 5-year survival rate is 91%.
If you’ve delayed your screening appointments or they have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please talk to your doctor about the steps you can take to safely resume these important tests.
Lower Your Risk of Colon Cancer
Since the risk of death from colorectal cancer drops dramatically when the cancer is caught early, we can save lives by calling attention to risk factors and increasing routine screening. You might be able to lower your risk of colorectal cancer by:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Regular physical activity
- Diets high in vegetables & fruits and low in processed foods and meats
- Low alcohol consumption
While there is no silver bullet to lowering your risk of colorectal cancer, these diet and lifestyle choices coupled with following the recommended colon cancer screening guidelines are your best chance. Also, please discuss any dietary changes with your doctor to ensure they will be optimal for your health.
“I don’t want anyone to become a statistic of colorectal cancer when we can effectively treat this cancer with early detection. Please follow the recommended screening guidelines and help us spread the awareness message by sharing it with your friends and loved ones.”
– Kenneth Brown, MD
Dr. Brown follows the recommendation of the American Cancer Society to begin regular colon cancer screenings at age 45 for adults at average risk, and follow-up screenings are done in 10-year intervals.
You’re at average risk for colon cancer if you do not have:
- Personal or Family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
- Personal history of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Personal history of abdominal or pelvic radiation
If you have questions about when you should be screened for colon cancer or would like to schedule a colonoscopy, please contact our office at 972-867-0019 or schedule an appointment online.
Colon Cancer Awareness Events – DFW 2021
Whether you have a personal connection to colon cancer or want to help raise awareness, the DFW area has had some great events in the past which you can participate in. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we’ll participate in virtual events this March and remain optimistic that we might have in person run/walk event(s) later this year in DFW.
National Dress Blue Day
- Date: Friday, March 5, 2021
- Event Info: click here
- Great opportunity to increase awareness at the office or with friends & family!
Colorectal Cancer 5k Walk-A-Thon
- Date: Oct/Nov 2021
- Location: Fort Worth, TX
- Event Info: click here
- We’ll update the specific event date & location info after it is released
Get Your Rear in Gear
*All 2021 events have not been published. Check back using the link above for this run/walk event in multiple Texas cities.