March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Eileen Canzonetti and Anne Jackson both specialize in Gastroenterology Nursing and share more information about colon cancer.

“Dress in Blue Day” — Friday, March 4, 2011

The purpose of Dress in Blue Day is to promote awareness about colon cancer and encourage people to get their colon checked.

BUNS UP 5K: Saturday, March 26 at 9 a.m. Race begins at the Olympus Hill Shopping Center. Proceeds benefit colon cancer screenings. For information and online registration, visit

For more information visit or call 1-888-222-2542

About Colorectal Cancer[1] :
1. Colorectal cancer is the #2 cancer killer in the United States     and in Utah
2. Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous     polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening     tests can find precancerous polyps, so that they can be     removed before they turn into cancer. Finding and removing     precancerous polyps is therefore one of the major goals of     colon cancer screening.

3. If caught early, colon cancer can be cured over 90% of the time.
4. All people over age 50 need to be screened for colorectal     cancer.
5. About 70% of people diagnosed with colorectal cancers had not     had colorectal cancer in their family.

6. Approximately 150,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colon     cancer each year.

Risk Factors 2[2] :
1. Aged 50 or older
2. Family or personal history of colon or rectal polyps or cancers
3. Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (colitis)
4. Poor diet, high fat and red meat and low fruits and vegetables
5. Smoking
6. Sedentary lifestyle

Symptoms[2] :
Colorectal cancer does not show symptoms until late in the disease.
1. Once colon cancer shows symptoms the chance for cure is significantly reduced.

2. Symptoms can include:

• Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement).

• Pain, aches, or cramps in your abdomen that happen a lot and    you don’t know why.

• A change in bowel habits, such as consistently having stools    that are narrower than usual.

• Losing weight and you don’t know why.

Screening Options[2] :

1) Colonoscopy – Most effective and preferred, every 10 years     when the last test was normal and there are no risk factors.

     • Can prevent cancer by removing abnormal growths before         they become cancer
     • In a recent survey, 70% of people in the recommended         screening age group say they don’t get a colonoscopy         because they are afraid of the procedure[4]
2) Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) annually
3) Flexible sigmoidoscopy, every 5 years alone or in combination     with FOBT[3]

[1]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

[2]National Cancer Institute, website:

[3]U.S. Preventive Services Task Force:

[4] Colon Cancer Alliance:

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