March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. But, the good news is that screening tests are availalbe to prevent colon cancer or find it early, when treatment can be most effective. To join the fight against colorectal cancer, take the B.L.U.E. pledge.
“B” stands for “Be screened.” The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends regular screening for those aged 50 to 75. Screening helps by detecting precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) so they can be removed. It also finds cancer early, when treatment can be most effective. Methods of screening include high-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT), flexible sigmoidoscopycolonoscopy, and CT colongraphy.
“L” stands for “Live a healthy lifestyle.”  Pledge to be active daily and maintain a healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Cutting out habits like smoking and limiting alcohol intake also lowers risk of colorectal cancer.
“U” stands for “Understand the facts about colon cancer.”  Be an advocate for your health by knowing the signs and symptoms of colon cancer and by working alongside your doctor to manage your well-being. 
“E” stands for “Engage others.” Talk to your loved ones about family history of cancer and other gastrointestinal diseases, like inflammatory bowel disease, that may increase risk of colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer screening is now covered under most insurance plans. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get screened at no cost to you. Contact your insurance provider to learn more.

For more information about colorectal cancer or colorectal cancer screening and recommendations, visit:

To schedule a colonoscopy with one of our gastroenterologists or general surgeons, talk to your primary care provider about a referral.

Kevin Karls, MD
Mustafa Kathawala, MD
Syed Zaidi, MD

General Surgery
Aaron Chalmers, MD, FACS
Brandon Helbling, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Derek Kane, MD, FACS
Gaylord Kavlie, MD, FACS
Rebecca Swenson, MD