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March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

  • March 11, 2016

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer. Most cases of colorectal cancer occur in people age 50 and older. For this reason, regular screening for colorectal cancer is recommended starting at age 50. Indeed, if this advice were followed 6 out of 10 deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to encourage people to get screened.  www.healthfinder.gov/nho/MarchToolkit.aspx

 Observation of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Communities, organizations, families, and individuals can recognize colorectal cancer awareness month by spreading the word about the importance of getting screened for colorectal cancer starting at age 50. www.healthfinder.gov/nho/MarchToolkit.aspx  Another way to get involved is to take steps toward colorectal cancer prevention.

The risk of colorectal cancer can be reduced in the following ways.

  • Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Exercise most days of the week.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.

www.mayoclinic.org/colon-cancer/prevention

Ethnic/Racial Disparities

African American men and women have the highest incidence of colorectal cancer along with the highest mortality rates for the disease. Among African American men and women incidence rates are about 25% higher and mortality rates are about 50% higher than those in whites.  Incidence and mortality rates among other major ethnic groups are lower than those among whites. www.cancer.org/research/cancerfactsstatistics

Colorectal Health at Whittier Street Health Center

Whittier provides colorectal cancer education and screening to identify new cases as well as provide care to patients with colorectal cancer. Dana-Farber Community Cancer Care is a partnership between Whittier Street Health Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) located onsite at Whittier. DFCI’s team of medical oncologists work collaboratively with Whittier’s primary care providers to ensure a full continuum of care. DCFI’s medical team is directed by Christopher Lathan, MD, MS, MPH and includes Rachel Freedman, MD, MPH, Aymen Elfiky, MD, MA, MPH and Huma Rana, MD.

To learn more, please call Whittier Street Health Center at 617-427-1000.