The Importance of Colorectal Screenings

Earn Vitality Points for getting a Colorectal Screening


National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (March) is around the corner. Did you know that colorectal cancer is the third most common type of non-skin cancer in both men and women? If you’re between 50 and 75 years of age, you are at risk and should be getting screened regularly—early detection can save your life. Plus, if you are 50 and over you’ll earn 200 Vitality Points, just for getting screened. Here is what you need to know:

Why are colorectal screenings important?

Colorectal cancer typically develops from abnormal growths (polyps) in the colon or rectum. Even without symptoms, regularly scheduled screenings can detect abnormalities before they become cancerous. Colorectal cancer is more treatable if it’s found before it has a chance to spread.

Who should get them?

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends colorectal cancer screening for men and women aged 50–75. Consider getting checked out sooner if any of the following applies to you:

  • You or a close relative have a history with colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer
  • You have inflammatory bowel disease
  • You have any genetic syndromes that are known to lead to colorectal cancer

Who is at risk of developing colorectal cancer?

The exact causes of colorectal cancer have not been determined; however, it is known that the following factors can play a part:

  • Age Colorectal cancer can happen at any age, but most cases are in men and women over age 50.
  • Polyps Polyps become more frequent as we get older, and are usually benign. Regular screenings can ensure that any cancerous or precancerous growths are quickly diagnosed and removed.
  • Personal history Colorectal cancer survivors are at risk as well as women with a history of cancer.
  • Nutrition There is evidence that diets high in red and processed meats and low in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can put you at a greater risk of developing colorectal cancer. Look for recipes that use little red or processed meat, and which are rich in fruit, vegetables and whole grains. This Hummus and Veggie Pita Sandwich is a great example of a snack to keep you healthy.
  • Exercise According to the National Cancer Institute, regular exercise may help fight against colorectal cancer, and those who are less active may be putting themselves at risk. Exercise regularly with a fitness device, and you’ll earn Vitality Points. Plus, set a goal of “Getting More Active” with HumanaVitality®, and you can earn 400 Points for completing it.
  • Smoking Smokers should add this to one of many reasons to quit—long-term cigarette smoking can increase your risk of colorectal cancer. If you’re a smoker, set a Personal Goal with HumanaVitality today to quit smoking. Enroll in a health coaching program for extra help, and take a cotinine test for an extra 400 Vitality Points.


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