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March is colorectal cancer awareness month

March 17, 2012
Reinbeck Courier

Colorectal cancer, cancer of the colon or rectum, is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among both men and women in the United States. Colorectal cancer also is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States. The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with advancing age. More than 90% of cases occur in people aged 50 or older.

Colorectal cancer screening saves lives. However, many people who are at risk for the disease are not being screened according to national guidelines.

It is estimated that as many as 60% of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented if all men and women aged 50 years or older were screened routinely. In most cases, colorectal cancer develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best.

Screening for colorectal cancer should begin soon after turning 50; then continue screenings at regular intervals. However, you may need to be tested earlier or more often if you or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer or if you have inflammatory bowel disease

One of the screening tools that is used to detect colon cancer is a colonoscopy. Grundy County Memorial Hospital offers this service every Tuesday of the month at the hospital. To schedule a colonoscopy or questions about this service, please contact GCMH at (319) 824-5081 or toll-free (888) 824-5081. For information on other GCMH services, please visit



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