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Health department urges people to get screened during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

LANSING, Mich. – Colorectal cancer often causes no signs or symptoms in its early stages. Screening starting at age 50 is vital for both prevention and detection of colorectal cancer, the third most common cancer in the United States.

The Ingham County Health Department is participating in Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and reminding community members to get screened. Screenings are covered by most health plans. People without health coverage or insufficient coverage may be eligible for screenings at no cost as part of the Michigan Colorectal Cancer Early Detection Program at the Ingham County Health Department.

“Colorectal cancer can be deadly. It’s the second leading cause of death from cancer,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “People sometimes delay their colorectal screenings because they are a bit uncomfortable or awkward, but they are so very important.”

People age 50 and older are at the highest risk and should be screened every 5-10 years. People may also be at higher risk if they are African American or smoke. Certain risk factors, such as a family history of colorectal cancer, may indicate a need to start screenings at a younger age.

For more information about the Michigan Colorectal Cancer Early Detection Program, contact the health department at (517) 887-4306.