March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

1 in 18 Americans have colon cancer or are affected by it

By Kiersten Ehr - Digital Content Creator

SAN ANTONIO - Did you know that 1 in 18 Americans have colon cancer or are affected by it?


March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and Baptist Health System has some helpful tips for people to prevent having cancer.


"Colon cancer is the third-most prevalent cancer; highest in mortality behind lung (and) breast cancer in women and lung (and) prostate cancer in men," Jan Carlos Prazak, a gastroenterologist at Baptist Health System, said.


What are symptoms of colorectal cancer?

*Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in early stages of the disease.


  • A change in bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation

  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool

  • Persistent abdominal discomfort (cramps, gas or pain)

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Weakness or fatigue

Common risk factors of Colorectal Cancer: 

  • Age older than 50 (can also occur in younger people but less frequently)

  • Low fiber-high fat diet

  • Alcohol

  • Sedentary lifestyle

  • Diabetes

  • A family history of colon cancer

  • Smoking 

How you can prevent Colorectal Cancer:


  • Get screened for colon cancer (average risk patients start at age 50, high-risk patients start sooner)
  • Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grain
  • Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes a day

What is the colonoscopy procedure like?


"The colonoscopy is a very safe procedure. We have excellent medications to help you prepare for it. The procedure is painless. You’re under anesthesia for about 10-15 minutes. After the procedure, you wake up and go home," Prazak said. 

For more information about Baptist Health System, you can visit or call 210-875-0199. 

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Information courtesy of Baptist Health System.

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