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Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Valor Health, Gem County Idaho-

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. The United States is estimated to have over 150,000 new cases of colon/rectal cancer this year. The silver lining is that colorectal cancer is highly preventable with proper screening and preventative action.

Speaking to your doctor about your risk is always a great place to start. There are many things that you can do to decrease your risk, like staying physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol and not smoking. People aged 45-85 should be screened regularly and people with additional risk factors should consider starting their screening even earlier. Screening can lead to early detection, when treatments are most effective.

Free Colorectal Screening Kits Available

In recognition of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Valor Health is providing free colorectal screening kits to our patients and community members. The easy-to-use testing kits can be found at any Valor location and is to be used in the privacy of your home. Once completing the test kit, results need to be returned to Valor within 48 hours. Positive results will be shared with your primary care provider and you for follow-up.

If you are age 45 or older, you should consider getting a colonoscopy

Zack Bastian
Dr. Zachary Bastian

Talk to your doctor to see what screening options are best for you. Valor Health General Surgeon, Dr. Zachary Bastian shares, “The most common things I hear from my patients are I didn’t know I needed one, no one told me I needed one, and I wasn’t having any problems. Trust me, If you’re over 45 and you’ve never had a colonoscopy, you probably need one. If you’re just not ready to talk to your doctor about it yet, at least consider taking one of our free kits. It could save your life.”