Silver Cross Hospital

The way you should be treated.™

New Lenox, IL (March 28, 2016) — Colon cancer does not get the same high-profile attention as other diseases, but it should.  According to the 2013 Will County Community Health Assessment Report, it’s the third most commonly diagnosed cancer among women and men, as well as the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the area. 

There is good news. It can be prevented.  In fact, 75 percent of all cases could be avoided when you take control of your health and follow these five tips to lower your risk of developing colon cancer. 

Get Screened.

This is the single best way to protect yourself from the disease.  Screening can catch caner early when it’s most treatable and can help prevent the disease by finding abnormal growths (polyps) that can turn into cancer.  Unless you have a history of colon cancer in your family, you should begin testing at age 50.  Silver Cross offers free fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) to look for hidden blood in the stool, which can be a sign of cancer.  The test is quick and easy. Using a Colon Cancer Screening Kit, you take small samples of your stool at home and send them to the Silver Cross Lab to be tested.  Results are sent back to you to share with your doctor. 

The golden standard screening is a colonoscopy. Men and women should have one at age 50 and every 10 years after.  This test is performed in a Silver Cross Endoscopy Suite under sedation. A slender, hollow tube connected to a video camera is inserted into the rectum that allows the doctor to look for polyps. If any are found, they can be removed during the 15 to 30 minute procedure and sent to the Lab for further examination.  For a referral to a physician on the Silver Cross Medical Staff who performs colonoscopies, visit www.silvercross.org. 

Don’t Smoke.

Smoking is a major cause of at least 14 different cancers including colon cancer.  If you do smoke, call the free Illinois Tobacco Quitline at 1-866-QUIT-YES or chat with a counselor at quityes.org.  It is the single best thing you can do for your health. 

Limit Red Meat, Especially Processed Meat

Eating too much red meat, like steak, hamburger and pork,  increases the risk of colon cancer. And processed meats, like bacon, sausage and bologna, raise risk even more. Try to eat no more than three servings each week. Less is even better. 

Take a Multivitamin with Folate

A daily multivitamin can also help protect against colon cancer. In addition to calcium and vitamin D, multivitamins contain folate, which has been shown to lower the risk of colon cancer. 

Increase Your Physical Activity

Not only does regular physical activity give you a mental boost, but it lowers the risk of many serious diseases including colon cancer. Being active can also help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity. Weight gain and obesity has been linked to 11 different types of cancer.  If you need help losing the pounds, weight loss surgery or the new ReShape™ non-surgical weight loss procedure may be an option for you. 

Click here to learn more about the factors that increase your risk for colon cancer.

Located at 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox, IL 60451   Main Phone (815) 300-1100

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Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.