March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

1:47 PM, Mar 9, 2014   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, is the third most common cancer among American adults, followed by prostate and lung in men, and breast and lung cancer in women.

This month is designated as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, because like any type of cancer, getting screened is critical to staying healthy.

According to the Maine Center for Disease Control, colon cancer is the second leading cause of new cancer cases and deaths in the state.

Maine Health Program Manager Aysha Sheikh sat down with us to discuss the importance of being screened regularly. Sheikh says that most people should get a colonoscopy regularly starting at age 50. She also mentioned that people with a family history should start sooner, as early as age 40.

Sheikh also mentioned an alternative test, a FIT test. It is a low cost take home stool test, and something she encourages people to take if they know they won't be getting a colonoscopy.

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