By Kara Verbanic, Public Health Educator
Onondaga County Health Department Cancer Services Program
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that the US Preventive Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society are now recommending colorectal cancer screening starting at age 45? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed among adults in the United States.
Colorectal cancer can be prevented with regular screening and the removal of pre-cancerous polyps in the colon and/or rectum. At first, precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer may not cause symptoms. That is why having a screening test is so important. If symptoms do appear, a person may notice blood in the stool, abdominal pain that doesn’t go away, bloating, or unexplained weight loss.
Are you up to date with your colorectal cancer screening? Talk with your primary care doctor about getting screened. For those age 45 and older who do not have health insurance or have other barriers to accessing screening, the Onondaga County Health Department Cancer Services Program offers free screening tests. Call 315-435-3653 to see if you qualify today!
For more information on colorectal cancer and free colorectal screenings for uninsured men and women please visit https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/ or http://ongov.net/health/cancerscreening.html.
Watch Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta’s video message here: