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Lower your risk of colon cancer with these simple preventive tips



Thursday, March 10, 2011 – Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. While there are typically no symptoms until its advanced stages, colon cancer is 70 percent preventable when detected early. Lower your risk of colon cancer by following these simple tips:

1. Get screened. Regular colorectal cancer screening is one of the most powerful weapons for preventing colorectal cancer. People who have no identified risk factors should begin regular screening at age 50. Those who have a family history or other risk factors for colorectal polyps or cancer should consult their physician. Saint Mary’s offers a simple solution: an at-home screening kit for only $20. To request your kit, call 770-7100.

2. Share your family history. If you have a family history of colorectal polyps or cancer, you should consult with your physician about early detection screenings and other prevention methods. You may not be at high risk; however, it is always best to take the extra step.

3. Consider diet and exercise. You can lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer by managing your diet and physical activity. Eating a diet that meets or exceeds the requirements for vegetables and fruits has shown to lower one’s risk for colon cancer. On the contrary, a diet that is high in processed foods and red meats contributes to higher risk for colon cancer.

4. Take your vitamins. Taking a daily multi-vitamin containing folic acid, or folate, may lower colorectal cancer risk.

5. Consider aspirin to lower risk. Several studies have found that people who regularly use aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, Aleve and Motrin have a lower risk of colorectal cancer and adenomatous polyps.

Having one or more of these risk factors does not guarantee that you will develop colon cancer. However, getting screened can identify colon cancer early-on. Saint Mary’s offers an at-home colon cancer “FIT” kit for only $20 that can easily and quickly detect polyps. To request your kit or for more information, call 770-7100.

About Saint Mary’s

Saint Mary’s Network is a fully-integrated, faith-based health system in Reno, Nev. founded in 1908 by the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael. The network is comprised of Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, an acute-care hospital, providing inpatient, outpatient and wellness services; Saint Mary’s Health Plans, a statewide insurance provider with more than 40,000 members; and Saint Mary’s Medical Group, a network of physicians and other health professionals offering primary and urgent care, retail clinics and specialty healthcare. A member of Catholic Healthcare West, Saint Mary’s is dedicated to meeting the healthcare needs of our community. For more information, visit our website at www.saintmarysreno.org.

About Catholic Healthcare West

Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), headquartered in San Francisco, CA, is a system of 40 hospitals and medical centers in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Founded in 1986, it is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health care systems and the largest private hospital system in California. CHW is committed to delivering compassionate, high-quality, affordable health care services with special attention to the poor and underserved. The CHW network of nearly 10,000 physicians and approximately 54,000 employees provides health care services to more than five million people annually. In 2010, CHW provided more than $1.3 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed patient care. For more information, please visit our website at www.chwHEALTH.org.

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