HSHS hospitals provide tips to prevent colorectal cancer
March 03, 2023
Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, Wis. – An estimated 153,000 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2023, according to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. These thousands of people will join more than 1.4 million other colorectal cancer patients and survivors.
Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of death for both men and women, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). You may be at an increased risk if you have:
- Personal or family history of colorectal polyps or cancer.
- Personal history of breast, uterine or ovarian cancer.
- Chronic ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease.
Despite these risk factors, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Registered Nurse and Manager of Perioperative Services, Kelli Olson, says many people who are diagnosed with colon cancer do not experience symptoms or have a family history of the disease.
“This is why it’s important to have annual visits with a healthcare provider, and get cancer screenings at the recommended age,” says Olson. “The purpose of a screening is to detect concerns early so any potential treatment can begin before a cancer becomes more aggressive.”
The ACS recommends adults ages 45-75 be screened for colon cancer, and if risk factors are present, a provider may encourage screening earlier. Those ages 76-85 are encouraged to ask their doctor if a screening may be right for them.
In addition to screening, you may be able to lower your risk of colorectal cancer development by:
- Avoiding foods high in fat.
- Adding more fruits, vegetables and other high-fiber foods to your diet.
- Exercising regularly and maintaining body weight.
- Not smoking.
- Drinking alcohol in moderation.
Warning signs of colon cancer may include:
- Blood in or on the stool.
- Recurring 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).
- Weight loss for no known reason.
- Constant and unexplained fatigue.
For more information about colorectal cancer, visit: www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer
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.
Communications Department HSHS Wisconsin