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Colorectal cancer may not garner as much attention in the media as other forms of cancer, but it is the second-leading cause of cancer death in Idaho and the U.S. Colorectal cancer includes cancers of the colon or the rectum.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to understand your and your loved ones' risk factors and how proper screening can drastically reduce instances of colorectal cancer and death.
Most cases of colorectal cancer develop from abnormal polyps in the colon. It typically takes those abnormal cells 10 to 15 years to develop into colorectal cancer. As a result, regular screenings can often prevent the development of colorectal cancer.
Beginning at age 50, men and women should have a colonoscopy every 10 years, continuing until age 75. In 2012, Idaho ranked 38th in the nation with only 60.6 percent of men and women age 50 to 75 being current on their colorectal cancer screenings.
Idaho by the numbers:
Remember: You know your body best. If you notice any changes, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider. Ask your healthcare provider if you need a colonoscopy or any other cancer screenings.
St. Luke's can help you find a doctor or healthcare provider. Call St. Luke's at 208-381-9000 or visit www.stlukesonline.org.
Contributing sources: Idaho Department of Health & Welfare; Comprehensive Cancer Alliance for Idaho; Colon Cancer in Idaho
You take care of others, so take care of yourself. Let us be your partner in health, whether you're recovering from an injury, checking in for your annual exam, or enjoying an online class.
Because when you take care of yourself, everyone around you benefits.