March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer.
 

Colorectal cancer affects people in all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people age 50 and older.


The good news? If everyone age 50 and older were screened regularly, 6 out of 10 deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented.

 

People over age 50 have the highest risk of colorectal cancer. You may also be at higher risk if you are African American, smoke or have a family history of colorectal cancer.

MDwise covers colorectal cancer screenings for HIP, Hoosier Care Connect and MDwise Marketplace members who are ages 50-64.
 
Everyone can take these healthy steps to help prevent colorectal cancer:
  • Get screened starting at age 50.

  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Get plenty of physical activity and eat healthy.
 
How often should I get screened?
How often you get screened will depend on your risk for colorectal cancer. It will also depend on which screening test is used.

There are different ways to test for colorectal cancer. Some tests are done every 1 to 2 years. Other tests are done every 5 to 10 years. Your doctor can help you decide which test is right for you and how often to get screened.

Most people can stop getting screened after age 75. Talk with your doctor about what’s right for you.

Cancer of the colon or rectum is also called colorectal cancer. The colon and rectum are parts of the large intestine. If you are 50 to 75 years old, get screened (tested) regularly for colorectal cancer.

It’s important for both men and women to get screened. There is more than one kind of screening test for colorectal cancer. Talk with your doctor about which test is right for you.
 
What do I ask the doctor?
Visiting the doctor can be stressful. It helps to have questions written down ahead of time. You may also want to ask a family member or close friend to go with you to take notes.

Print out these questions and take them to your appointment.
  • What is my risk for colorectal cancer?
  • When do you recommend that I start getting tested?
  • How often do I need to get tested?
  • What are the different types of screening tests for colorectal cancer?
  • Which screening test do you recommend? Why?
  • What’s involved in screening? How do I prepare?
  • Are there any dangers or side effects of screening?
  • How long will it take to get the results?
  • What can I do to reduce my risk of colorectal cancer?

Source: Healthfinder.gov