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Cancer Institute

Colorectal Cancer Awareness

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Big Blue QuestColorectal cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the United States. Although this cancer is treatable and beatable, many don’t take simple measures to detect this cancer, due to embarrassment. Join West Penn Allegheny Health System in celebrating Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month throughout March. With a proactive approach, colorectal cancer can be detected and treated quickly and effectively, which is why regular screenings are highly recommended for those at risk of developing this disease.

Colorectal cancer is sometimes signaled by symptoms such as blood in the stool, weight loss or unexplained anemia, but the most common symptom is no symptom at all. Be sure to talk to your doctor about screening options and whether or not you are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Without screenings, you may be risking your life. Several factors increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer, including increasing age, a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, bowel disease, lack of exercise, smoking and drinking alcohol. Whether you have other risk factors or not, once you reach the age of 50, it is of utmost importance that you receive screenings to detect polyps before they become cancerous.

According to the American Gastroenterological Association:

  • This year, more than 50,000 Americans will die from colorectal cancer and approximately 131,600 new cases will be diagnosed.
  • Eighty to 90 million Americans (approximately 25 percent of the US population) are considered at risk because of age or other factors.
  • More women over the age of 75 die from colorectal cancer than from breast cancer.
  • If colorectal cancer is found early enough, the patient has more than a 90 percent chance of survival.

Do your best to beat the statistics:

  • Know your family history
  • See your doctor for yearly screenings if you are age 50 or older
  • Maintain a diet low in animal fat and high in fruits, vegetables and fiber
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid cigarette smoking

Colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable. Join West Penn Allegheny Health System in its fight to eliminate this life-threatening disease.

  • Learn more about colorectal services available at WPAHS
  • Learn more about colonoscopies, or call 412.359.8900 to schedule your screening colonoscopy

          View WPAHS Gastroenterologists
  • Learn more about colorectal cancer in our Interactive Health Library
  • Learn more about the Big Blue Quest, a fun walk/run to support colon and rectal cancer awareness and research
  • To be referred to a doctor at West Penn Allegheny Health System, call 412.DOCTORS (412.362.8677)

View WPAHS Medical Oncologists

View WPAHS Colorectal Surgeons

View WPAHS Radiation Oncologists



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