Did you know that colorectal cancer can be prevented? Screening can find precancerous polyps that can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening can also help find colorectal cancer early when it is easiest to treat.
Although colorectal cancer is easily preventable, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that as of 2010, one in three adults between the ages of 50 and 75 were not up-to-date with their recommended colorectal cancer screening.
Don’t wait, being screened for colorectal cancer could save your life.
Colorectal cancer is typically diagnosed in men and women ages 50 and older. A person’s chance of developing colorectal cancer is increased by certain factors such as having a family history of colorectal cancer, a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, or having had polyps or colorectal cancer in the past. There are often no symptoms during the early stages of colorectal cancer, making routine colorectal screening extremely important. If symptoms do appear, they may include:
- Rectal bleeding,
- Black, tarry stools,
- A change in bowel habits,
- Persistent abdominal pain or cramping
- Unexplained weight loss
Free colorectal cancer screening is available through the Onondaga County Cancer Services Program (CSP) for men and women ages 50 to 64 who do not have health insurance. Free mammograms and Pap tests are also available for women ages 40 to 64 who do not have health insurance. Screenings are provided at healthcare provider sites throughout the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County. Call 435-3653 today to register or register online by visiting the CSP website.
— Contributed by Emily Young, Public Health Educator with the Onondaga Health Department