The Norwalk Health Department joins health officials around the country in recognizing National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March. The Norwalk Health Department strongly encourages Norwalk community members to begin getting screened for colorectal cancer soon after turning 50 and to continue getting screened at regular intervals after that.
Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is a serious condition, but screening for it can save lives. Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Each year, more than 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer. According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH), more than 1,600 Connecticut residents are expected to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year, and it is projected to cause more than 400 deaths.
If caught early, colorectal cancer is highly curable. In fact, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if everyone 50 years old or older were screened regularly, as many as 60% of deaths from colorectal cancer could be avoided.
Risk factors for colorectal cancer include being over the age of 50, a family history of colorectal cancer, a high fat diet, heavy use of alcohol, obesity, and smoking.
Contact your health care provider for more information on how to get screened for colorectal cancer. If you do not have a regular health care provider or are uninsured, colorectal cancer screenings are available at no cost to qualifying individuals at facilities throughout Connecticut. For more information on colorectal cancer and screenings, please visit www.ct.gov/dph/colorectal or call (860) 509-7804.
For more information about colorectal cancer, including symptoms, screening tests, visit http://www.cdc.gov/Features/ColorectalAwareness/ or http://www.StayInTheGameCT.com.