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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

More than 20,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year. But it’s 90 percent preventable.

If you’ve see a giant—40 feet long and 8 feet high!—colon in your community recently, don’t be alarmed. The month of March was designated by the federal government as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month to remind Canadians that colorectal cancer is a common—but highly “preventable, treatable, and beatable” disease.

It’s highly preventable

Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death and third most common form of cancer among both men and women? It’s estimated that more than 20,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year alone. But it’s also 90 percent preventable, treatable, and beatable—with early screening.

For a Healthy Colon …

High on the list of preventive measures, the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada suggests that Canadians aged 50 and older get screened regularly—whether or not they have experienced any symptoms, which could include a change in stools, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, anemia, or constant tiredness.

Other keys to prevention:

  • maintain a healthy weight
  • lead an active lifestyle
  • exercise regularly
  • increase your intake of:
    • fibre, fruit, and vegetables, especially cruciferous veggies
    • water
    • fermented foods, such as yogurt
    • lactobacilli
    • turmeric
    • green tea
  • decrease your intake of:
    • coffee
    • saturated fat
    • alcohol
    • high-sugar foods

Quick stats

  • 23,300 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year (est.)
  • 1 in 13 men and
  • 1 in 16 women are expected to develop the disease in their lifetime
  • 9,200 will die from colorectal cancer this year
  • 90 percent “preventable, treatable, and beatable” with lifestyle changes and screening
  • 2.6% per year for men and
  • 1.8% per year for women decline in colorectal cancer deaths since 2003
  • 13% more adults aged 50 to 74 had had colorectal screening in 2008 compared to 2003
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