Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, WI – Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). However, experts say many of these deaths could be prevented with regular screenings and if caught early. Some types of screenings can also help find and remove precancerous growths called polyps before they develop into cancer. 

ACS recommends people at an average risk of getting colon cancer receive a colonoscopy beginning at age 45, not 50 as previously recommended. The organization has found rates of colon cancer among people younger than 50 are on the rise.  Patients at an increased risk may need earlier and more frequent screening depending upon consultation with a health care provider.

HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals offer the following information to help in the screening, prevention and detection of colon cancer.

People at an increased risk for colon cancer include:

  • Those with a personal or family history of colorectal polyps or cancer
  • Those with a personal history of breast, uterine or ovarian cancer
  • Those with chronic ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
  • Those with a diet rich in red meat (ex. beef, pork and lamb) and/or processed meats (ex. bacon, sausage and cold cuts)

In addition to regular screening for colon cancer, you may also be able to lower your risk by:

  • Avoiding foods high in fat
  • Adding more vegetables, fruits and other high-fiber foods to your diet
  • Exercising regularly and maintaining a normal body weight
  • Not smoking
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation

Warning signs of colorectal cancer can include:

  • Blood in or on the stool
  • Recurrent shifts in normal bowel habits such as experiencing diarrhea or constipation for no known reason
  • Thinning of the stool
  • Increases in stomach discomfort (bloating, gas, fullness and/or cramps that last more than a few days)
  • A feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Constant and unexplained fatigue

“Sometimes people are nervous about their first colonoscopy, but the temporary discomfort is less invasive than a cancer diagnosis and treatment,” said HSHS radiologist registered nurse, Jennifer Reetz. “Finding and removing cancerous cells or polyps before they become cancerous is critical to prevention.”

For more information about colon cancer screening, prevention and treatment, click here. 

###

About HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1889, it has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin with the latest medical innovations and technology, together with a Franciscan whole-person healing tradition.

About HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1885, it has served the people of the Chippewa Falls area with health care that is high tech and high touch. Known locally for the quality of the care it provides patients, the hospital has been recognized nationally for its outstanding patient satisfaction levels.

About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states - Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries,  and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.

Media Contact

Karen Kraus

Communications Department
HSHS Wisconsin
Office: (715) 717-4591
Cell: (715) 717-4747
Karen.Kraus@hshs.org

Latest News

HSHS hospitals welcome Mary Salm as Vice President of Mission and Spiritual Care

 August 8, 2022

Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) hospitals are pleased to welcome Mary Salm to serve in a new role as Vice President of Mission and Spiritual Care.

 

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital nurses say breast milk provides unique benefits to infants

 August 4, 2022

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital recognizes National Breastfeeding Month in August, and the benefits of breastfeeding. 

 

Sun safety tips to prevent damage from harmful UV rays

 July 18, 2022

During July’s UV Safety Awareness Month, HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals, following guidance from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), remind everyone to protect...