EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and on Friday, people are wearing blue to help bring awareness to the disease.
In the United States, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women, but it is preventable and curable if caught early enough.
Nurse at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Michael Lucore said the biggest thing to keep an eye on is changes in weight and bowel movements, especially when there has been no change in diet and lifestyle.
People should begin getting screened for colon cancer in their 40s, or at age 50, but Lucore said it is key to be open and honest with your doctor if you are exhibiting symptoms earlier.
"You can see and recognize some of the early signs and symptoms of it, and have that honest conversation with your physician," Lucore said.
HSHS officials say the following are some symptoms of colon cancer:
- 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