Sanilac County, Mich. – According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Disease Prevention), colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer, the fourth most common cancer in the U.S. and one of the treatable and preventable cancers. To increase awareness about the importance of this type of cancer, McKenzie Health System (MHS) and Marlette Regional Hospital (MRH) are proudly participating in Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March.
The colon is part of the digestive system and helps absorb water and minerals from food we eat. The rectum is part of the colon and helps store undigested solid waste until it is ready to leave the body. Cancer in the colon and rectum are both known as colorectal cancer. Everyone can take these healthy steps to prevent colorectal cancer:
- Get screened starting at age 50.
- Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
- Get plenty of physical activity regularly.
- Eat more healthy foods like whole grains, fruits, cruciferous vegetables and other high-fiber foods.
- Lessen intake of fat oils, butter, red meats, salt-cured foods and charcoal broiled foods.
People over the age of 50 are at higher risk, along with African Americans, smokers and individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer.
Early detection is key to prevention and a higher survival rate. Screenings are safe and help by detecting small, abnormal growths known as polyps. Some polyps are precancerous and these precancerous ones should be removed before they turn into cancer and metastasize (spread) into the body.
Symptoms to look for include blood in stool (bowel movement), excessive stomach pain or cramps, or quick weight loss.
MHS and MRH are dedicated to providing the best, most essential health care in a caring and compassionate way. Schedule a colonoscopy screening during your next visit with your family health care provider. Screenings such as a colonoscopy can be performed at any hospital facility that provides surgical services and participates with your insurance provider. MHS and MRH have several general surgeons on staff that can perform the colonoscopy procedure in Sandusky or Marlette. For more information and a list of providers, visit www.mckenziehealth.org or www.marletteregionalhospital.org.
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