Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Colorectal cancer a common and deadly form of cancer in New Mexico
Governor Susana Martinez and the New Mexico Department of Health are recognizing March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in New Mexico. Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum, and is both the second most frequently diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in New Mexico.
“This is a kind of cancer that kills because it thrives on silence,” said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “Too often, people are afraid to talk about colorectal cancer, let alone get tested for it. But this disease is highly preventable if only more New Mexicans would start getting screened beginning at age 50.”
Colorectal cancer screening is recommended for most men and women ages 50 through 75. If you’re at higher risk based on family history or medical conditions, your doctor may suggest you start screening at a younger age.
Routine screening often finds precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum so they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening can also reduce colorectal cancer deaths by detecting cancer at an early, more treatable stage.
Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. You could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it. That is why having a screening test is so important. If you have symptoms, they may include:
- Blood in or on the stool (bowel movement).
- Stomach pain, aches, or cramps that do not go away.
- Losing weight and you don’t know why.
These symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer. If you have any of them, see your doctor or healthcare provider. Ultimately, the best colorectal cancer screening test is the one that you get done.
If you’re 50 or older, talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about getting screened. For more information about colorectal cancer screening, visit the Screen for Life website.
We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.