The Covid pandemic has impacted our lives in more ways than we care to count and more ways than we may realize. On a global scale it has posed an unprecedented challenge to public health, our food system, and the world of work as we knew it. On an individual level it has steered many adults away from getting their annual physical and preventive screenings including colon cancer screening. With March being National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month there is no better time to talk about the importance of screening.
Colon cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer among American adults and is the second leading cause of cancer death in American adults. While diagnoses among older adults have been steadily declining, rates of diagnoses for adults under the age of fifty-five have been on the rise. When we consider the risk factors it is no surprise that colon cancer is on the rise. We are more sedentary than ever, consume a significant percent of calories from high fat, high sugar processed foods, more and more of us are not maintaining a healthy weight and only a fraction of us are getting screened. In 2019, less than 40% of adults that should be screened got a screening.
A healthy diet based on whole, non-processed foods, regular physical activity and regular screenings can help to prevent and catch this highly preventable form of cancer. It is recommended that most adults have a screening at age 50. Screenings have come a long way and don’t have to be embarrassing, painful or invasive. There are many different options available, some which you can do in the comfort and privacy of your own home. You can check out the different screening options here.
Preventive screenings are part of the Cigna preventive care benefits and are most often provided at no cost to the member. When it comes to our health and well-being, prevention is critical. If you have questions about your preventive care benefits, go to mycigna.com. If you’ve been putting off your colon cancer screening, now is as good a time as any to talk to your health care provider so pick up the phone and make that call today. It could just save your life.