On Tuesday, March 5, Granite Falls Health is joining over 80 civic, public, and private organizations across the state to band together and turn Minnesota BLUE (the color of colon cancer awareness). Colon Cancer Coalition is leading the effort to educate Minnesotans from all corners of the state about the importance of colorectal cancer screening and show support for patients, survivors, and caregivers.
Facts about colon and rectal cancer:
1. In 2019, an estimated 2,300 Minnesotans will be diagnosed and 790 Minnesotans may die from colorectal cancer.
2. One in 23 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer in their lifetime, one in five of those will be diagnosed under the age of 54.
3. The American Cancer Society recommends that screening for this preventable cancer should begin at age 45 for adults with average risk. Screening should begin earlier for individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps.
4. In Minnesota the screening rate for colorectal cancer sits at 73.7%, increasing that by just one percentage point could mean an additional 10,000 Minnesotans would be screened, saving lives in the process.
What can be done to reduce the risk?
1. Get screened as recommended, starting at age 45, or earlier for those with certain risk factors.
2. Maintain a healthy weight, and adopt a physically active lifestyle.
3. Understand the symptoms, and talk with your doctor if you experience blood in your stool, chronic constipation or unexplained weight loss.
4. Consume a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while limiting red and processed meats.
5. Limit your alcohol consumption and don’t smoke.
If you need to schedule a screening or have questions in regards to reducing your risk please call Granite Falls Health at 320-564-6200.