March Is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. It's one of the most preventable, treatable, and beatable forms of cancer, especially when it is caught early.

Unfortunately, nearly half of all Americans are not getting the recommended screenings. Dr. Prahsanti Atluri from the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center in Greenville says people who are not considered high risk for this type of cancer should started getting colonoscopies or compatible screening tests at age 50. Those considered high risk should consult their doctor about getting screened sooner.

There are several signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer, according to Dr. Emmanuel Zervos of the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center. They include inflammatory bowel disorders, blood in the stool, history of polyps or family history.

People should talk to their doctors about getting screened for colon cancer. If you don't have a doctor or don't have insurance, you can check with your local health department about resources to find a place that does offer colonoscopies. They may offer payment plans for the procedure.

Another option is to contact Vidant Health's Cancer Care Navigators. Anyone can call to get directed to the right resources. The toll-free number is (800) 472-8500.

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