Wellness and Prevention
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, the perfect time to increase awareness about the importance of screening. Among cancers that affect both men and women, colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States. The disease is treatable and can easily be prevented if screened early.
It is important for those at-risk and those that are noticing symptoms to get screened early. Colon cancer is oftentimes a silent disease and caught too late. It's important for the community to understand how important screening is, at all adult ages.
If the cancer is detected and treated in the earliest stages, between 80 and 90 percent of patients are restored to normal health. Additionally, there is only a 12 percent survival rate for those cancers found and treated at a later, more advanced stage. Colon cancer is one of the most detectable and, if found early enough, most treatable forms of cancer. Common symptoms and warning signs of colon cancer include:
- Blood in or on the stool
- Change in bowel habits or shape of stool
- Increases in stomach discomfort such as bloating, gas, fullness, and cramping
- Feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
- Unexplained weight loss or fatigue
Colon cancer impacts a wide range of the population between the ages of 20 and 49 and is no longer targeted to just the elder population. Getting screened is simple and patients can take advantage of two options. A colonoscopy is the best way to detect colon cancer and the procedure itself takes only six minutes. Secondly, patients can request an at-home colon cancer screening from their physician. The at-home kit is private, simple and affordable.
Saint Mary's is making screening easier than ever by offering an at-home colon cancer "FIT" screening kit for just $20. Call them today at 775-770-3806 and request your screening kit.