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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

NEW ULM — March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in Minnesota and across the nation. In recognition of this, New Ulm Medical Center joins dozens of public and private landmarks from across the state to shine blue from dusk to dawn on Mon., March 9 or on other specified dates during the month of March. This action brings attention to the nation’s second leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women in the United States, and at the same time shows support for local cancer patients and promotes screening for this preventable cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends that screening for colon and rectal cancer should begin at age 45 for average risk individuals. What many don’t realize is screening should start earlier for individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps. One in 23 Americans will be diagnosed with this cancer in their lifetime, one in 5 of those will be diagnosed before the age of 55.

Screening for colorectal cancer can save lives.

•A screening colonoscopy can prevent cancer by removing pre-cancerous polyps before they can become cancer.

•Individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps should talk to their doctor about when screening should begin for them.

•In addition to colonoscopy, there are many screening options for colorectal cancer, including inexpensive options that can be done in the privacy of your own home.

•Over half of Americans ages 50-54 have not been screened.

•One in 5 colorectal cancer patients are ages 20-55.

To learn more about screening for colorectal cancer at New Ulm Medical Center or to schedule an appointment go to allinahealth.org.

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