CHI St. Alexius Health is a proud member of the North Dakota Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, a 2020 80% in Every Community National Achievement Award Honoree. North Dakota designated this week as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Week, as we celebrate the North Dakota Colorectal Cancer Roundtable national award and bring CRC screening back into focus in this new pandemic environment.
Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. when men and women are combined, yet it can often be prevented or detected at an early stage. But there is good news: the number of deaths from colorectal cancer has been dropping in both men and women for several decades. One reason, researchers say, is the use of screening colonoscopies to remove colorectal polyps before they develop into cancers, or find cancers earlier when the disease is easier to treat. Another factor is that treatment for colorectal cancer has improved.
Preventing colon cancer or finding it early doesn’t have to be expensive. There are simple, affordable tests available. If you’re 50 and older and have not yet been screened, you should start getting screened for colorectal cancer now. Please do not wait any longer. In fact, the American Cancer Society has recently lowered the recommended age to start colorectal cancer screening to age 45. Several types of screening options are available, including simple, affordable, take-home options. Even if you are under 45, talk to your provider about screening if you have a family history of the disease or if you are experiencing symptoms. You may need to begin screening early.
Ask your health care provider when you should start screening for colorectal cancer and which test is right for you. Be sure to talk to your insurance provider about coverage.