KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The White House estimates that over 130,000 people will be diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer this year. President Obama declared March as National Colorectal Awareness Month.
Colorectal cancer starts in the colon or rectum, according to ACS. The Mayo Clinic says colon cancer affects the large intestine (colon) and rectal cancer affects the end of the intestine.The majority of diagnoses is for Adenocarcinomas. This type of colorectal cancer can be found in the glands inside the colon or rectum.
The awareness month was created to remember those who have loss their lives to the cancer. Also, the month strives to make people more aware of prevention techniques.
The Mayo Clinic says symptoms of the cancer include: blood in stool, change in bowl movements, fatigue, unexplained weight loss and pain in the abdomen. If you experience any of these symptoms, visit a doctor.
There are many risks can be prevented. ACS encourages people to exercise, maintain a healthy weight and diet, and to not smoke and drink heavily.
However, there are some factors that can not be prevent, such as age, family history, having another condition like inflammatory bowl disease or type 2 diabetes, or race and ethnicity.
The ACS works to provide screenings each year. Doctors suggest patients receive a screening starting at the of 50. However, if you have any of the risks, screenings may start earlier.
Currently, a legislation is being sought for congressional support. The Removing Barriers to Colorectal Screening Act would help people struggling financially to have the opportunity to get a screening.