Colon cancer has no single cause and often does not cause any symptoms. Some people have a higher risk of developing colon cancer because this form of the disease tends to run in families. Others who are diagnosed with colon cancer have a personal history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, or certain inherited gene changes that can cause the disease. Being over the age of 50 and African American also can increase the risk of developing colon cancer.

So what can you do to reduce your risk of colon cancer? Plenty. According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, screening colonoscopies reduce the risk of developing advanced colon cancer by 70 percent in average-risk people. Researchers also found that having a yearly fecal occult blood test — an at-home test that checks for blood in the stool — may provide the same amount of risk reduction.

While you cannot control your age, race or family history, there are a number of lifestyle-related steps you can take in addition to screening to help prevent the disease: eat five or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits daily; exercise at least 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity on five or more days of the week; manage your weight; and don’t smoke.

In recognition of March as Colon Cancer Awareness Month, Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake is offering free EZ DETECT™ colon cancer kits*. This self-test, which can be done in the privacy of your home, may detect the early warning signs of colorectal disease even before symptoms appear. To request your FREE kit, call 877-647-1109.

*$7.99 retail value. Limit two kits per household, please. Offer good while supplies last.

Photo credit: Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218


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