Colorectal cancer awareness

In 16 years, cancer will become the leading cause of death in the United States according to a recent study from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

With that new research, it’s fitting that the month of March is dedicated to raising awareness of a certain type of cancer.

March is colorectal cancer awareness month. It’s second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United states, behind lung cancer.

That’s why the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health is encouraging people to be vigilant when it comes to colorectal screenings.

Some symptoms can include blood in the stool, stomach pain, aches, cramps that don’t go away, or nausea.

But, 7 out of 10 patients diagnosed with this type of cancer did not show any symptoms.

A local Chronic Disease Prevention expert say while the topic can be a tricky one, the best test is the one that gets done.

Chronic Disease Prevention Services Manager, Teresa Heitland said, “The real challenge is the screenings. Nobody wants to talk about it, you’re talking about screening stool, you’re talking about colonoscopies. No one wants to talk about those very important screenings, that we need to keep in mind.”

Teresa says most of the time, screenings don’t need to be done till after you’re 50, however if you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you may want to speak to a doctor and get screened early.

Free colorectal screening kits are available at the following locations.

May 21 – 23

Time/Location:            8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa, East Campus
Main Entrance, 1000 4th Street SW, Mason City

                                      12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Mercy Home Therapy Shoppe
1501 4th Street SW, Mason City

5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Southbridge Mall
100 S. Federal Avenue, Mason City

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