Welcome to North Shore Health Department The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 3/21/2017 Did You Know? March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer. Colorectal cancer affects people in all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people age 50 and older. Typically, colon cancer begins as a small growth in the colon. Over time, these pre-cancerous growths, called polyps, can turn into cancer. By following the current screening guidelines, your doctor can remove these growths or find cancer in its earliest stages. A common screening method is a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy views the entire colon and polyps can be removed during the procedure if found. This procedure is usually performed every 5-10 years depending on the findings. Though it is usually recommended to start getting screened at age 50, you may need to be screened earlier depending on your family’s health history and risk factors. Check out who should be screened and when at:https://www.ccalliance.org/get-screened/who-should-be-screened-and-when/ Take steps to reduce your risk of colon cancer: Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, which may play a role in cancer prevention. Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount of alcohol you drink to no more than one drink a day for women and two for men. Stop smoking. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit that may work for you. Exercise most days of the week. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days. If you've been inactive, start slowly and build up gradually to 30 minutes. Also, talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program. Maintain a healthy weight. If you are at a healthy weight, work to maintain your weight by combining a healthy diet with daily exercise. If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor about healthy ways to achieve your goal. Learn more at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/colon-cancer/manage/ptc-20188388 https://www.ccalliance.org/awareness-month/ Missed the highlights? Click here to view previous highlights.