Happy New Year! January is often seen as a perfect time to embark on New Year’s resolution journeys—especially those related to health and wellbeing. Common resolutions pertaining to health include the commitment to exercise more, eat healthier foods, quit smoking, or eliminate other harmful habits. While these are all excellent health related goals, there is another important goal that can be overlooked. That goal is colon cancer prevention.
Colon cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and each year, 1,400 Georgians die from colon cancer despite it being a preventable disease. Colon cancer screening is not only detects cancer early, it can prevent cancer from ever developing. Colon cancer screening guidelines recommend that all average risk men and women get screened starting at age 50, however conversations with your healthcare providers, family, and friends about getting screened should begin before then.
Every New Year’s resolution has to start somewhere, so identify a colon cancer screening goal that is attainable and meaningful to you. A realistic goal could be learning about your family history of colon cancer, learning more about screening guidelines, understanding the different types of screening tests, or starting a conversation with your primary care provider. These small actions can then turn into the biggest and most important step of colon cancer prevention—actually getting screened.
Taking action to prevent colon cancer is not always easy. This year, UHRU is here to help by working to eliminate barriers to screening across the state through the Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project. Though this project, UHRU strives to educate and empower healthcare providers at Georgia’s federally qualified health centers to implement a successful colon cancer screening program to save lives.
Celebrate what lies ahead this year and support UHRU’s mission to prevent colon cancer by getting screened. Putting prevention practices in place in 2020 could help cut your risk of developing colon cancer for years to come. Let’s make this year a healthy one!