by Elissa Ortivez
March is Colorectal Cancer awareness month. In light of this, the SPRHC Outreach Clinic would like to enlighten those who may not know about this very common disease that is the second leading cause of death in the United States.
Colorectal or Colon Cancer is the term that is used for cancer that begins in the colon or rectum. What causes Colorectal Cancer is not yet known. However, there are many risk factors that can lead to the disease. This form of cancer is typical in individuals over the age of fifty (50) but can affect people of all ages. It is likely to occur in those who are obese or have poor eating habits, such as diets high in fat or an inactive lifestyle, in individuals with a family history of polyps, cancer of the colon/rectum or breast, those with a personal history of polyps (small growths on the lining of the colon), or diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s which may lead to the disease.
It is important to know that Colorectal Cancer often has no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Early detection through screening or Colonoscopy is key to preventing and or treating this Colorectal Cancer, especially in those who fit into the above categories. If you or someone you know is experiencing any bleeding from the rectum or bloody stools, a change in bowel habits, discomfort in the abdomen, weakness or fatigue, unexplained weight loss, or vomiting, it is advised that prompt medical attention be sought.
If you or someone you know is in need of a colonoscopy and is having difficulty affording the procedure, the SPRHC Outreach Clinic may have the answer through a grant called CCSP or Colorado Colorectal Screening Program. Please contact the SPRHC Outreach Clinic today at 738-2718 or visit us at 129 Kansas Avenue to learn more about this program and the generous guidelines that may enable you to receive the early detection needed to save a life!