National Dress in Blue Day will be celebrated tomorrow, Friday, March 1. The Colon Cancer Alliance started Dress in Blue Day in 2009 to bring awareness about colon cancer prevention and to celebrate those affected by the disease.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but through regular screenings it is one of the most preventable. If you are 50 or older, talk to your doctor about screening options. When colorectal cancer is detected early, the chance of survival is very good.
“Some people assume that without a family history of colorectal cancer, they don’t need to get screened, but this is not true; only 10 or 20 percent of those with colorectal cancer have relatives who had the disease. People with a confirmed history, though, should talk to their doctor about getting screened before they turn 50,” says Tina Warnol, RN, manager of the PCRMC Endoscopy Department.
Warnol says that colon cancer can affect all ages, so recognize the following warning signs:
- Blood in or on the stool; a change in bowel habits; or stools that are narrower than usual
- General stomach discomfort or frequent gas pains
- Weight loss that occurs despite no change in daily habits or diet
- Chronic fatigue
If you have any of these symptoms, please discuss them with your doctor immediately.