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Early Colorectal Cancer Screening: Smart, Safe, and Lifesaving

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and a good time to talk about a common, curable, and frequently preventable disease. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States. However, because early diagnosis and treatment often lead to a complete cure, it’s important to begin the screening process soon after you turn 50—even if there’s no family history of colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer screening employs tests that detect areas of abnormal cell growth before they have the chance to turn into cancer. Finding and removing these abnormalities may be one of the most effective ways to prevent colorectal cancer from ever developing.

Because a number of different screening tests exist, your health care practitioner is your best resource for exploring when to begin screening for cancer, which test(s) you should have, and how frequently you should be screened. These decisions will be based on your age, health, and family history.

To learn more about colorectal cancer and the screening process, please visit:

NIHSenior Health - Colorectal Cancer
http://nihseniorhealth.gov/colorectalcancer/toc.html

CDC: Colorectal Cancer Screening
http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/pdf/Basic_FS_Eng_Color.pdf

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Last Modified: 12/31/1600

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