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To Your Health!

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Faalik Zahra
The Importance of Colorectal Cancer Screening

by Faalik Zahra

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Many individuals have colorectal cancer. It is one of the deadliest cancers in the United States.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes colorectal cancer as “a disease in which cells in the colon or rectum grow out of control. Sometimes it is called colon cancer short. The colon is the large intestine or large bowel. The rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus.”


The symptoms of colorectal cancer can be hard to cope with. Symptoms that individuals with colorectal cancer possess are:

  • Irregular bowel movements - Blood in stool

  • Pain in the abdominal area - Unexplainable weight loss


Colorectal cancer would be diagnosed after seeing a medical professional and can’t be based solely on these symptoms. Researchers are continuously studying this cancer to understand better the onset of colorectal cancer and efficient treatment options for patients with cancer. The uncertainty that lies with cancers causes many patients to feel uncertain and hopeless during their treatment. During this time, it is important to make sure that you are there to support them and their loved ones, as it can be a difficult time.


There are characteristics and lifestyle choices that increase the chances of contracting colorectal cancer, as highlighted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention below:

  • Increased age

  • Decreased exercise

  • Lack of fruits and vegetables

  • A diet that is low in fruits and vegetables -    Alcohol consumption

  • Tobacco use


These do not always lead to colorectal cancer. Still, if you are experiencing any symptoms and may have any of these characteristics, it is essential to meet with your physician. Earlier diagnosis of colorectal cancer can increase your chances of combatting the disease.


During the month of March, it is beneficial for individuals to create awareness for colorectal cancer. Here are some steps that you can partake in to assist in increasing awareness.

  • Educate yourself and the people around you about colorectal cancer.

  • Donate to research that is being done on colorectal cancer. This will assist in finding better treatment options for the disease and understanding the disease and its mechanism better.

  • The Colorectal Cancer Alliance motivates people to wear blue on March 3rd. They explain this importance: "by wearing blue, you bring awareness to this disease and support our work — as well as honor all impacted by colorectal cancer.”

  • Support family members and friends that have colorectal cancer. This is a difficult time, and any help can alleviate stress and make them feel better.

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Faalik Zahra studies neuroscience and journalism at the University of Cincinnati and plans on becoming a physician. She has always had a strong inclination towards writing and sharing stories which have led her to pursue a journalism degree as well as founding an online media portal, Bearcat Voice. As a Senior Contributor, Faalik combines her passion for writing and her interest in medicine to explain medical issues to patients in a way they can clearly understand.

March 2023 page 4

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