Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in La.
(Houma, La.) – March is National Colorectal Cancer Month – bringing attention to the type of cancer people are often too embarrassed to talk about. Colorectal cancer, or cancer of the colon or rectum, is the second leading cause of cancer death in Louisiana.* Mary Bird Perkins at TGMC wants to change that.
On Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the TGMC Outreach location at Southland Mall, 5933 W. Park Avenue in Houma, staff from Mary Bird Perkins and TGMC will distribute free take home-kits – the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) – that detect blood in the stool.
A second colorectal cancer screening is scheduled for Wednesday, March 30, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at WalMart-Eastside, 933 Grand Caillou Road in Houma.
No reservations are required for either screening.
Colorectal cancer usually causes no symptoms in its early stages, making screening vitally important. If you are seeing bright red blood with your bowel movements, you should go directly to your doctor. The take-home kit, which must be picked up by the user, is not a substitute for a colonoscopy but is just one form of colorectal cancer screening. The best method for colorectal cancer screening is a colonoscopy.
The primary risk factor for colorectal cancer is age. More than 90% of cases are diagnosed in individuals older than 50. Fifty is the recommended age to begin colorectal cancer screening, unless there is a family history, in which case screening should start earlier. Obesity, sedentary life style, smoking and the amount of intake of red meat can all increase your risk of colorectal cancer. Check with your family doctor for the most appropriate screening option for your age and medical history.
For more information on free cancer screenings, call (1-888-616-4687).
*American Cancer Society Facts and Figures 2010
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at TGMC is nationally accredited with commendation for excellence in cancer care by the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) Commission on Cancer (CoC) – the gold standard for community-based cancer care. The multidisciplinary cancer program offers immediate access to a wealth of technology and clinical expertise for the Houma community and the greater Bayou region.