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March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, a reminder to all of us of the importance of colon screenings. In New Mexico, colon cancer is the second-most diagnosed cancer, with more than 800 new cases every year. However, colon cancer is one of the most treatable cancers if detected early through screening.

In this video, Lovelace gastroenterologist Dr. James Martinez explains why colon screening is critical for anyone 50 or older or with risk factors for colon cancer. Yvonne, a patient at Lovelace Women’s Hospital’s Gastroenterology Specialists, shares why she believes we should overcome any fear of this simple screening, which can save lives.



Symptoms of Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is often referred to as the silent killer, because the symptoms may be virtually undetectable until later stages of the cancer. This is why screening is so important. Symptoms of colon cancer may include:



Bloody stools
Persistent stomach aches and pain
Unexplained weight loss


If you think you have any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider. If you are 50 or older, it is time to schedule a colon screening. For anyone with risk factors for colon cancer, such as family history or previous colorectal polyps, make sure you stay on the colon screening plan recommended by your health care provider.

To reach the Gastroenterology Specialists at Lovelace Women’s Hospital, please call 505.727.7833.

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