Colon Cancer Awareness Month

By: Courtney Lassiter
By: Courtney Lassiter

"At age 24 someone tells you you're a statistic, your survival rate, you just don't think about that at 24 years old."
In June of 2000 Kathy Brown gave birth to her daughter, the light of her life in so many ways, but two days afterwards, Kathy's life suddenly looked dim. She was diagnosed with stage one colon cancer.
"Of course, I thought, I just had a baby what in the world could have happened?"
Her grandmother had a history with colon cancer and passed on a gene that increased her likelihood, but at Kathy's young age, she never thought to get tested.
"They told me it had actually been there for 10 years. So that was since I was 14 is when it started."
Now in remission for 5 1/2 years, she worries about her daughter.
She'll have to get tested when she's 14.
"I'd like to think they will find the cure within the next 10 years." In 2006, an estimated 2500 Kentuckians will be diagnosed with colon cancer.
An estimated 910 will die this year.
The best prevention is early detection.
The American Cancer Society urges you to check your family history to see if you should be screened before the age of 50.
- colorectal cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in each sex.
- The risk of colorectal cancer increases with age. More than 90 percent of cases are diagnosed in individuals over the age of 50.
- A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps or of inflammatory bowel disease of significant duration increases the likelihood of having colorectal cancer. Also, there are certain genetic factors that increase the likelihood of having colon cancer.
- African Americans have the highest colorectal cancer rates and the highest rate of death from the disease of any racial or ethnic group in the U.S.
- Other risk factors include:
-Smoking
- Alcohol Consumption
- Obesity
- Physical Activity
- Diet high in fat and/or red meat or processed meat
- Diet low in fruits and vegetables

www.cancer.org


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