Littleton Regional Healthcare Consultation

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month LRH Can Help

March 19, 2019

Littleton, NH - Littleton Regional Healthcare wants to remind community members that March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in your colon or rectum. This type of cancer is our country's second leading cause of cancer deaths. Scientists are looking at ways to prevent colorectal cancer. They study what increases our chances of developing colorectal cancer by studying risk factors. Scientists also look at what lowers our chances of getting colorectal cancer.

Dr. Robert Cimis, Jr., Gastroenterologist at LRH
Dr. Robert Cimis, Jr., Gastroenterologist at LRH

Things that lower your chances of developing cancer are known as cancer protective factors. These protective factors include getting regular physical activity, eating less red meats but more vegetables and fruits may help lower your risk. Another protective factor is taking certain medications (aspirin and hormone replacement). Before taking any medications (including over the counter), always speak to your doctor. Even though medications can do a lot of good, they can also do harm. Having a regular colonoscopy can lower your chances of colorectal cancer. If a surgeon finds one or more polyps during a colonoscopy, he or she can remove them. Removing polyps can prevent these growths from turning into cancer.

Smoking, heavy alcohol use, and a high BMI increase your chances for colorectal cancer. These are lifestyle choices you can change. Guidelines recommend less than 3 alcoholic drinks per day. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. Also, there are some genes passed down from our parents that increase our chances for colorectal cancer. We cannot change our genes, but if you have the genes for colorectal cancer, your doctor will recommend a colonoscopy more often than if you had an average risk. Your doctor may advise genetic testing if you have close relatives (parents, siblings, grandparents) with colorectal cancer. To learn more, visit medlineplus.gov/colorectalcancer.html.

Littleton Regional Healthcare's Dr. Robert Cimis, Jr., Gastroenterologist is accepting new patients. If you or someone you know is concerned about their risk for colorectal cancer or needs to have an initial screening, please call 603.259.7798 to schedule your appointment today.

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