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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Know the Symptoms and Screening Options

Colorectal cancer is a disease of the digestive system found in the colon or rectum. Although it is one of the more common cancer types, colorectal cancer is often preventable with screening and highly treatable when detected early.

According to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, most cases of colorectal cancer occur in people ages 45 and older, but the disease is increasingly affecting younger people. Each year, about 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with this disease, and more than 50,000 die.

Because colorectal cancer often develops without symptoms, it’s recommended men 45 or older and at average risk get screened regularly.

While anyone can develop colorectal cancer, a list from the CDC gives these conditions as common risk factors:

  • Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps
  • A genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome)
  • Black/African Americans and Ashkenazi Jews are at higher risk

Colorectal cancer often develops without symptoms. When they occur, symptoms may include:

  • Blood in or on stool
  • Persistent unusual bowel movements like constipation or diarrhea
  • Stomach pain, aches, or cramps that don’t go away
  • Losing weight for no reason

Understand the risk of colorectal cancer and the best time to get screened. Talk to one of our experts by clicking Here, or call us at (601) 425-2999.


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