Colorectal cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the
U.S. The good news is that when caught early, colorectal cancer can be cured.
The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is early and regular screening.
The American Cancer Society recommends screenings, such as fecal occult
blood testing and colonoscopies beginning at age 50. Screening can detect
polyps before they become cancerous, and early detection equals higher
North Oaks General Surgeon
Dorothy Lewis, MD
, explains that the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer may include
unexplained weight loss, weakness, fatigue, a change in bowel habits,
persistent abdominal discomfort or the presence of blood in the stool.
“The most common risk factor associated with colorectal cancer is
age,” Dr. Lewis shares. “At least nine out of 10 people diagnosed
with colorectal cancer are older than 50. Early screening may help eliminate
this risk factor.”
North Oaks offers the recommended screenings, including the fecal occult
blood test that should be done annually, and colonoscopies, which are
recommended every 10 years. Talk to your personal health care provider
about your potential risk factors (i.e., family history, heritage, diet,
and alcohol and tobacco use) and the screenings that may be recommended
for you. If you need a provider, call the NOHS Physician Hotline at (985)