March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Do you know your risk?

Colorectal cancer is a highly preventable and treatable disease when identified early

Approximately 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year, making colon cancer the second deadliest form of cancer, according to Dr. James Prieto, Colorectal Surgeon with Methodist Hospital.

However, it is a highly preventable and treatable disease, especially when identified early. Routine screening is the most effective way to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by identifying and removing precancerous polyps before it turns into cancer.

Being overweight, smoking, diet, age, inflammatory bowel disease, and a family history of cancer are all risk factors.

The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy recommends that men and women start screening for colorectal cancer at age 50 and continue until age 75.

Screenings include colonoscopies. A colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a long, flexible, narrow tube with a light and tiny camera on one end, called a colonoscope or scope, to look inside the rectum and the entire colon. They can show abnormalities in the lining of the large intestine.

If colon cancer is detected and diagnosed in a later stage, there are surgical interventions available for patients, such as robotic-assisted surgery.

For more information about colorectal cancer, you can visit Methodist Healthcare’s website.