Tag Archives: colorectal cancer

World Cancer Day 2018: Uniting the world against preventable disease

27336678_2066910430000717_710002079010092896_nWe all have differences, from our fundamental beliefs such as religion or politics, all the way down to the foods we prefer or the temperature we keep our homes. But when we get down to brass tax, we’re all human.

Enter World Cancer Day, an initiative working to raise awareness of non-communicable diseases around the world, regardless of age, national origin or any other factor.

“Currently, 8.8 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years),” says WCD.org.

So many of these cancers are preventable, few more than colorectal cancer, the third leading cancer across the world only to breast and lung. Preventative measures combined with early detection is the key to saving millions of lives each year.

“It’s exciting to see how every year there is greater support for World Cancer Day. We’re delighted to back this important initiative and would encourage everyone to get involved.” – Kate Allen, Executive Director of Science & Public Affairs, World Cancer Research Fund International

WCD aims to not just increase awareness, but to generate funds for research and to help get the word out. And their mantra is a simple but effective one: every action counts.

“Whether you do something as large as running your own World Cancer Day campaign, or as simple as sharing our template messages amongst your networks, every action has an impact. Show the world that we can, I can… get involved in the fight against cancer,” says WCD.org.

You can do things as small as donating a few dollars or sharing WCD’s materials on social media to raise awareness. Check out the SIGNS FOR CHANGE social media activity, where they ask you to take selfies and use their hashtags, #WorldCancerDay and #WeCanICan. You can also share your cancer story, read those of others, and hear from healthcare professionals and caregivers.

On February 4, 2018, let’s remember that we’re all human, all fighting for the chance at a better, healthier life. And also remember to get screened! It’s the number one way to detect cancer early to set you on the path of recovery.

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Minority Cancer Awareness: African Americans more likely to have colorectal cancer

National Minority Health Month and Minority Cancer Awareness Week are in April.

Some minorities have a higher rate of colon cancer in the U.S.

April is National Minority Health Month, and beginning April 10 is National Minority Cancer Awareness Week.

In the U.S., African Americans have the highest rates of colorectal cancer cases and mortality from the disease than any other group. Folks of Eastern European Jewish descent have the highest rates of colon cancer in the world.

The causes for these disparities isn’t exactly clear. The American Cancer Society posits that higher poverty levels among minority communities in the U.S. may be one reason.

“African Americans and Hispanics in the US have higher poverty rates than whites and are less likely to have health insurance, making it harder for them to get the care they need,” says ACS.

The organization is trying to raise awareness and lower the imbalance of rates through improving access to screening and treatment, as well as programs to quit smoking. Smokers are more likely to both develop and die from colon cancer.

The advocacy partner of the American Cancer Society, the Cancer Action Network, says that it’s working toward both prevention and scientific advancements.

“It is critical that our nation supports policies and programs that not only improve access to existing methods to prevent, detect and treat cancer, but also help continue making scientific advances in cancer prevention, detection and treatment methods for all Americans,” says CAN.

The American Cancer Society is attempting to bridge the gap between American minorities and cancer rates. They’re constantly developing resources in other languages and pushing for awareness about the discrepancies in our population.

As always, it’s important to remember that while you can’t control certain factors, there are some things you can do to prevent colon cancer. Exercise, eating more veggies, quitting smoking and cutting back on alcohol can all help contribute to a lower rate of colon cancer.

For more information on how to get involved and push for prevention, visit the American Cancer Society.

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More young people diagnosed with colon cancer

Colon cancer cases are increasing in folks under 50 years of age.

There have been an increasing number of cases of colon cancer in people under 50.

We often think of colon cancer as a disease only older people have to worry about. But lately, there have been reports of more people under 50 being diagnosed with colon cancer.

According to CBS News, one in seven people who have colon cancer are under 50. Most younger people who are diagnosed have a later stage cancer. But there’s good news: the rate of survival without recurrence is also higher in younger folks.

Conflicting views

The current recommendation for colon cancer screenings is to start at age 50. For people with a family history of the disease, it’s a whole decade earlier, at age 40.

A new study is recommending earlier screenings for everyone by lowering the age to 40 or 45 across the board. But many insurance plans don’t cover colonoscopies for people under the recommended age or those without a family history of the disease.

According to Record Searchlight, “Several surgeons who conducted the study said that shows the recommended age for screening needs to be younger than current guidelines.” But many in the medical community are waiting for more conclusive statistics before making that claim.

What you can do

As always, pay attention to your body. If something feels off, tell your doctor. Symptoms of colon cancer aren’t always obvious. They can be as simple as fatigue, bloating, nausea or constipation.

Dr. Suryakanth Gurudu, a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic, recommends a less invasive approach, such as a stool sample. “We still don’t have large population-based studies that show cost effectiveness by decreasing the age to 40 years,” says Dr. Gurudu.

The risk of developing colon cancer during your younger years is still low. But if you have a family history or suspicious symptoms, talk to your doctor about your options.

Never Too Young

The Never Too Young (N2Y) coalition works to raise awareness of colon cancer cases in young people. They recognize the problems you can face with your insurance company or other barriers to treatment.

“Too often we hear stories from folks in this group who are facing additional screening and diagnosis hurdles due to their age,” says N2Y.

Visit the Colon Cancer Alliance site for more information.

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Colon Cancer Month continues: Resources for fighters

Colon Cancer Awareness month will wrap up, but our fight goes on!

Our fight will continue long after Colon Cancer Awareness Month ends.

Colon Cancer Awareness month 2015 is coming to a close, but the fight is far from over! We’re here to offer screenings, tests and other preventive methods to make sure all of our patients get the care you need.

Here are some great resources for more information and support for colon cancer survivors and fighters.

Colon Cancer Alliance

Find programs and events, news, garb and information if you’re newly diagnosed. If you’re interested in volunteering, you can learn how to become an advocate or get involved in community outreach, and even sign up for a run or walk.

Check out their Facebook page for regular updates.

Colon Cancer Month

Get more info about the famous Undy Run and live by the tagline: Screen it like you mean it!

Blue Star States

This site advocates for the continuation of Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Each year, your state’s governor has to officially recognize March for Colon Cancer Awareness. Here you can find statistics about the states, how to get involved and what you can do for your state to become a Blue Star State.

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