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Jackson Hospital Promotes Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Hospital news | Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Jackson Hospital and the American Cancer Society are once again sponsoring FREE screenings every Wednesday in March in the hospital lobby from 9am – 12noon. A free colorectal cancer testing kit will be handed out to each participant, and they will have an opportunity to have their blood pressure and blood glucose tested free of charge.

Link Between Colon Cancer and Lifestyle

According to the American Cancer Society, several lifestyle-related factors have been linked to colorectal cancer. In fact, the links between diet, weight, and exercise and colorectal cancer risk are some of the strongest for any type of cancer. So it might be time to start paying closer attention to lifestyle habits.

· Certain types of diets: A diet that is high in red meats (beef, lamb, or liver) and processed meats such as hot dogs, bologna, and lunch meat can increase your colorectal cancer risk. Cooking meats at very high heat (frying, broiling, or grilling) can create chemicals that might increase cancer risk. Diets high in vegetables and fruits have been linked with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.

· Lack of exercise: Getting more exercise may help reduce your risk.

· Overweight: Being very overweight increases a person's risk of dying from colorectal cancer.

· Smoking: Most people know that smoking causes lung cancer, but long-time smokers are more likely than non-smokers to die of colorectal cancer. Smoking increases the risk of many other cancers, too.

· Alcohol: Heavy use of alcohol has been linked to colorectal cancer.

· Diabetes: People with type 2 diabetes have an increased chance of getting colorectal cancer. They also tend to have a higher death rate from this cancer.

Importance of Being Screened

Regular colorectal cancer screening is one of the best ways to help prevent colorectal cancer. Some polyps, or growths, can be found and removed before they have the chance to turn into cancer. Screening can also help find colorectal cancer early, when it is more likely to be cured. It is important for people who have a history of colorectal cancer in their family to check with their doctor for advice about when and how often to have screening tests.

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