March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer does not always cause symptoms, especially at first. Someone could have colorectal cancer and not know it. That is why getting screened regularly for colorectal cancer is so important.

According to the CDC, if you have symptoms, they may include—

A change in bowel habits.
Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement).
Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty all the way.
Abdominal pain, aches, or cramps that don’t go away.
Weight loss and you don’t know why.

If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. They may be caused by something other than cancer. The only way to know what is causing them is to see your doctor.

Regular screening, beginning at age 45, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best.