In Honor of John Andretti (1963-2020)

John Andretti died of colon cancer on January 30th at the age of 56. He was diagnosed at age 53 after a routine screening and used his battle to raise awareness of the disease.

If you want to honor his memory, make sure that you (your parents, your grandparents, your spouse, etc.) are screened. You should be screened when you turn fifty, and then once every ten years after that. If your doctor says you’re at higher risk, it might be more often.

A pie chart shows that 31% of adults aged 50-75 are not up-to-date with recommended screening for colorectal cancer. Are you one them?

About Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the fourth highest cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It kills 13.7 people out of every 100,000. It’s behind lung (#1) and prostrate (#3) cancer, both of which are difficult to detect at early stages.

But breast cancer (#2) and colorectal cancer (#4) have much higher chances of early detection — provided you avail yourselves of them. We’re talking mammography and colonoscopy.

Your risk of colorectal cancer rises as you age. Over 90% of CRC occur in people 50 years or older. Other risk factors:

  • Inflammatory bowel diseases, like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • A personal of family history of colorectal cancer, colorectal polyps, or genetic demonstration of tendency toward the disease

Decrease your colorectal cancer risk

  • Get regular physical activity
  • Eat a diet high in fruit and vegetables
  • Eat a low-fat, high fiber diet
  • Minimize intake of processed meats
  • Stay at a healthy weight
  • Don’t drink too much
  • Don’t smoke

Yeah, it’s messy and unpleasant and a little embarrassing, but colorectal cancer screening (colonoscopy) saves lives.

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