Black Women Need to Guard Against Colon Cancer

Group says it's second most common cancer among this group

SATURDAY, April 9, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Black women should consult with their doctors about new colorectal cancer screening guidelines from the American College of Gastroenterology, says the National Women's Health Resource Center's (NWHRC) Dare to Be Aware program.

Those guidelines say that black Americans should be screened for colorectal cancer every 10 years, beginning at age 45.

The Dare to Be Aware program encourages women to recognize and deal with issues -- such as embarrassment, fear and lack of knowledge -- that may be putting them at increased risk of dying from colorectal cancer.

The program helps women by providing them with information about risk factors, screening and treatment options.

"Too many women, including African-American women, are ignoring the threat of colorectal cancer," Amy Niles, NWHRC's president and CEO, said in prepared statement.

"They think it is a 'man's disease' or they think it can't happen to them. Others let what they think of as the uncomfortable or embarrassing nature of a colonoscopy keep them from getting a test that could save their lives. In fact, colorectal cancer is the second most common type of cancer in African-American women," Niles said.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about colorectal cancer prevention.

SOURCE: National Women's Health Resource Center, news release, April 2005
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