Reformation Lutheran Church

Parish Nurse’ Blog

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. Of cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States. Colorectal cancer affects all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people ages 50 and older.

The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to get screened regularly starting at age 50 and get treatment. There are often no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer.  Six out of ten deaths can be prevented with screening and early intervention.

Everyone can take these healthy steps to help prevent colorectal cancer:

  • Get screened starting at age 50.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Get active and eat healthy.
  • Increase vegetables and fruit in your diet.


A colonoscopy is the recommended screening examination. This test typically takes less than an hour, but you’ll be at the doctor’s office for a couple hours for prep and recovery. With a sedative, it’s completely painless.

I urge you to schedule a colonoscopy if you are 50 years old or older or have family member who’ve been diagnosed with colorectal cancer and talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Blood in your stool (usually appearing in your stool as bright red to black)
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Chronic constipation
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Unexplained weight loss


Low income individuals between the age of 50 to 64 may be eligible for free or low cost screening. Contact the Pennsylvania Colorectal Cancer Control Program  here:

Cancer Prevention and Control
Pennsylvania Department of Health