March 26, 2007
MARCH IS COLORECTAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
LEWISBURG, Tenn. – Colorectal cancer, or cancer of the colon and/or rectum, is the third most common cancer in both men and women. According to the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation, more than 145,000 people were diagnosed with the disease in 2005. Fortunately, 90 percent of colorectal cancers and deaths are thought to be preventable.
The Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation—together with many collaborators—have designated March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in an effort to increase awareness that colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable.
Dr. Alvaro Garcia, a surgeon with advanced training in colorectal
surgeries on the medical staff at Marshall Medical Center
(MMC), said, “It is estimated that nearly 3,500
Tennesseans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer
this year. In nearly all cases, colorectal cancer requires
surgery, and possibly radiation and chemotherapy, for
a complete cure. If the cancer is detected and treated
in the earliest stages, approximately 80 to 90 percent
are restored to normal health. It’s very important
that individuals receive regular screening tests, which
may detect pre-cancerous polyps that can be removed
during a non-invasive colonoscopy and prevent the cancer
Dr. Srikar Reddy, a gastroenterologist on the medical staff at MMC who performs colorectal screenings, adds, “Starting at age 50, men and women should be screened annually. Screening tests, such as a colonoscopy or fecal occult blood test, are not painful and may detect cancer in its early stages. If you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer you may need to be tested earlier and should talk with your health care professional about when to begin screening. In its early stages, there may not be any symptoms of colorectal cancer; however, symptoms that may appear later include change in bowel habits, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, frequent gas pains, weight loss and fatigue.”
In addition to screenings, maintaining a regular exercise routine and healthy weight along with eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains will help to prevent colorectal cancer. Men and women should also avoid smoking and excessive drinking.
To learn more about colorectal cancer and its symptoms, visit www.preventcancer.org/colorectal or talk to your health care provider.
About Marshall Medical Center:
Marshall Medical Center, an affiliate of Maury Regional Hospital, offers a 24-hour emergency department as well as surgical, primary care and diagnostic services. Marshall Medical Center is accredited by the Joint Commission and has 27 physicians on the medical staff. For more information, visit www.mauryregional.com