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Know the signs and risks of colorectal cancer

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Greenville, NC (WITN)-March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States. However, Dr. Warqaa Akram, a colon and rectal surgeon who is an assistant professor at the Bloody School of Medicine at ECU / Vidant Health, states that regular screening can help detect it early, prevent its spread, and treat it. ..

Dr. Akram said the guidelines for when to start screening for colorectal cancer have been updated. Currently, it is recommended that people at average risk of colorectal cancer begin screening at age 45 instead of age 50. This change is due to the increased incidence of colorectal cancer in people under the age of 50, which is expected to nearly double by 2030.

Factors that put them at higher risk include a strong family history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps. Other factors include whether you have inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, or whether you have a history of radiation therapy to the abdomen or pelvis to treat previous cancers. ..

Test options include stool-based screening and visual inspection, while the gold standard is colonoscopy.

There are precautions you can take to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Dr. Akram states that it is important to maintain a healthy diet with low lean and processed meats and high fiber in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Exercise and restricted use of alcohol and tobacco can also reduce the risk of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

You can schedule a screening with your healthcare provider. For more information on treatments, resources, etc. click here.

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