March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer and precancerous polyps don’t always cause symptoms. So you can look healthy and feel fine and not know there may be a problem. Screening helps find polyps—abnormal growths in the colon or rectum—so they can be removed before they turn into colorectal cancer. Screening can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment often leads to a cure.
In 2008, the University of Texas System expanded the Wellness and Prevention benefit to include 100 percent colonoscopy coverage under the UT SELECT Preventive Care Program. This means that a colonoscopy performed by a network physician at a network facility is now available at no cost to most employees covered by UT employee benefits.
Of cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn't have to be. If everybody aged 50 or older had regular screening tests, as many as 60 percent of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented.
If you are aged 50 or older or think you may be at higher than average risk for colorectal cancer, speak with your doctor soon about getting screened, or for more information, visit www.utmbhealth.com.
Get screened for colorectal cancer. About nine out of every 10 people whose colorectal cancer is found early and treated are still alive five years later.