Colon Cancer Awareness

In 2017, the US Cancer Statistics center ranked Colorectal Cancer fourth in both incidence and deaths per 100,000 people in the United States, with Maryland recording just over 2,500 new cases in that year. At Nurse Professionals Home Care, we believe in educating our Eastern Shore Community on how to be more active in their health. From Hebron to Ocean Pines and everywhere in between, we want our community to have the resources they may need to address health concerns in their lives.

Colorectal Cancer is a cancer of the large intestine and/or rectum in which most frequently growths, called polyps, form on the inner lining of these body parts. As these polyps spread outward, they invade the walls of the large intestine and can spread to other body parts.

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified several factors that can increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer, some of which you can change and some you cannot. Factors you cannot change include your age, personal or family history of colorectal cancer or benign polyps, personal history of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, your racial and ethnic background, or having type 2 Diabetes. Factors you can change include many lifestyle habits such as heavy alcohol use (more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women), smoking, a diet high in red or processed meat, physical inactivity, and being overweight or obese.

the CDC recommends those over the age of 50 should begin screening and continue screening at regular intervals. The American Cancer Society suggests screening begin at age 45, both groups recommend regular screening until age 75, and from 76 to 85 years old based on overall health, life expectancy, and other factors determined by your doctor. There are several screening options, including stool sampling and colonoscopy, which your health care professional can discuss with you.

If you are over the age of 50 and not being regularly screened for Colorectal Cancer, it is important for you to begin a regular screening program with your health care provider. For more information on this topic, please visit the CDC’s Colorectal Cancer webpage or the ACS Colorectal Cancer webpage, or talk to your doctor.