Let’s Fight Colorectal Cancer
in Sumter County
How Much Do You Know About Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer, cancer of the colon or rectum, is the third most common form of cancer and the third-ranked cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States (excluding some skin cancers). However, with regular screenings and a healthy lifestyle, it’s one of the most preventable cancers and beatable 60% of the time if discovered early enough. In fact, 9 of 10 people whose cancers are found early and treated appropriately live at least five years and beyond.
Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman’s tragic death from colon cancer in 2020 put a renewed spotlight on the disease. His story is an important reminder to Georgians to be mindful of the actions we can take to help prevent colorectal cancer because many times, the disease has mild or no symptoms.
Sumter County’s Community Health Needs Assessment places fighting colorectal cancer as its top priority from 2020-2022. Here are some reasons why.
Increase in deaths each year among people younger than age 55
of colorectal cancers are associated with modifiable risk factors
cases per 100,000 people, higher than the average
of adults in Sumter County smoke tobacco
A Healthy Lifestyle Can Reduce Risk
When you take these four steps to adjust your lifestyle to lower your risk for colorectal cancer, not only will you feel good, you’ll also be fighting all kinds of other diseases and chronic health issues along the way.
Increase physical activity
Going to the gym or playing sports is great, but just taking a walk for 30 minutes each day can make a big difference in your overall health.
Limit alcohol consumption
The CDC recommends one drink a day for women and two for men.
Smoking tobacco causes cancer all over the body, not just in the lungs.
Healthy, balanced diet
Make sure to include lots of high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Reduce the amount of red and processed meats and high-fat foods.
50 or Over? Get Screened!
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends adults between the ages of 50 and 75 get a colorectal cancer screening. If you are older than 75, ask your doctor if you should be screened. People with an increased risk of getting colorectal cancer should talk to their doctor about when to begin screenings, which test is right for them, and how often to get tested.
What is a FIT test?
A FIT test is a non-invasive test that uses antibodies to detect blood in stool. It comes in an easy-to-use kit that you do at home and send back to a lab for results. The Americus Rotary Club has generously donated 125 FIT test kits for qualifying local residents of Southwest Georgia who ask their doctor about a screening. The available free FIT test kits are being distributed by Connect Care in Americus, Georgia.
To find out if you’re eligible, please call (229) 928-4755.