More than 100 staff, physicians and volunteers from Henry Mayo participated in the recent Relay For Life event presented by the American Cancer Society. The hospital donated baskets for a raffle with proceeds benefitting the American Cancer Society. In addition, a giant model of a colon at the Henry Mayo booth was a hit with an estimated 2,500 people walking through. The giant model served to educate the public, along with a cancer museum, about colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, with 50,000 reported last year. Henry Mayo’s booth took first place for “fightback message.”
The American Cancer Society reports that more than 145,000 people are diagnosed each year with colon and rectal cancer—and men and women are equally at risk. The good news is that in recent years, the incidence rate of colorectal cancer has decreased, as has the death rate. Decreases have largely been credited to early screening tests such as colonoscopies.
It is recommended that people start screening at age 50 as colorectal cancer is more likely to occur as people age; however, persons with increased risk for colon and rectal cancer (individuals with a personal history of polyps or a family history of colon cancer) should be screened earlier.
A diet high in fat and calories and low in fruits and fiber, and a sedentary lifestyle may also be associated with an increased risk.
In addition to screenings, the American Cancer Society suggests the following tips may help to lower the risk of developing colon cancer:
• Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grain foods (high fiber diet)
• Limit intake of high-fat foods
• Participate in 45 to 60 minutes of physical activity 5 or more days each week
• Stop smoking
• Maintain a healthy body weight
To locate a physician who can provide more information on colorectal cancer screenings and prevention, call Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital’s physician referral Line at 661-253-8888 or visit www.scvdocs.com.