March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
According to the American Cancer Society, excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States.
Colorectal cancer also is the second leading cause of cancer death among both genders, combined, and is expected to cause over 51,000 deaths during 2019.
Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum and is almost always preventable through screening tests.
These screening tests can find the polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.
A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool that lasts for more than a few days
A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that's not relieved by having one;
Rectal bleeding with bright red blood;
Blood in the stool, which may make the stool look dark;
Cramping or abdominal pain;
Weakness and fatigue; or
Unintended weight loss.
Colorectal cancer might not cause symptoms right away, but if it does, it may cause one or more of these:
Screening is advised for all individuals 50 years of age or older, or younger for those who have a family history.
The Southeast District Health Department is offering Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) kits to anyone age 50 to 75 at distributions sites throughout Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, and Richardson counties.
To obtain an FOBT kit or for more information, contact the Southeast District Health Department at 877-777-0424 or visit www.sedhd.org.