March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
The medical providers at Maple Street Clinic are trying to raise awareness of colorectal cancer, a potentially life-threatening disease.
"Colorectal cancer is the fourth most commonly occurring cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States." Dr. Roger Reynolds, physician and owner of Maple Street Clinic, explains "However, it is a preventable and very curable disease if caught early."
Because there are often no early symptoms, colorectal cancer may only be caught early through regular screenings. "The benefits of early detection and treatment are dramatic;" according to Dr. Reynolds, "Most colon cancers start as non-cancerous growths called polyps. If polyps are discovered while they are still non-cancerous, they are removed and the cancer may be prevented. Major surgery is usually avoided, as well."
Age 50 is when most of the colorectal screenings begin for average-risk patients. Screening methods include a yearly digital rectal exam as well as testing for blood in the stool and colonoscopy every 10 years. Your healthcare provider will help you determine which is the best means of testing for you.
People at increased risk for colorectal cancer (a personal or family history of colorectal polyps or cancer, other cancers, and those with chronic ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease) may need earlier and more frequent screenings depending upon the recommendation of their healthcare provider.
"In addition to timely and regular screenings;" Dr. Reynolds notes, "people may lower their risk of getting colorectal cancer by changing their dietary habits (avoiding foods high in fat, eating plenty of high-fiber food,) exercising regularly, not smoking and drinking alcohol only in moderation."
For more information on colorectal cancer screening, prevention and treatment, call on the experts at Maple Street Clinic.
Maple Street Clinic P.C.
1825 Maple St.
Forest Grove, OR 97116