Colon Cancer

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the 3rd most common cancer in both men and women with 132,700 new cases in the United States in 2015. This represented 8% of all new cases of cancer. There were 49,700 colon cancer deaths in 2015, comprising 8.4% of all cancer-related deaths in the United States. There have been improvements in colon cancer rates over time because of increased CRC screening with colonoscopy. But, racial and ethnic disparities still exist, especially in North Carolina. The incidence of CRC among non- Hispanic whites in North Carolina was 37.1 per 100,000 people. But among non-Hispanic Blacks the rate was 46.6 per 100,000 people. Similarly, the death rate due to CRC is much higher among Black North Carolinians (20.1 per 100,000) compared with their non-Hispanic white counterparts (13.1 per 100,000). A major factor in the higher incidence and higher mortality in CRC among Blacks is lower rates of colon cancer screening. Julius M. Wilder MD, PhD at Duke Division of Gastroenterology and Duke Clinical Research Institute states, “During Colon cancer awareness month, let’s make sure everyone gets appropriate CRC screening. Colonoscopy decreases the risk of colon cancer and saves lives.”

 Desiree Palmer, DMD., states, “Fiber rich foods, found in fruits and vegetables, along with a well- balanced diet is essential for colon health and optimal for kidney health too. Foods with fiber stimulate saliva flow, which is a natural defense against tooth decay. Opt for crisp fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots and celery. They make wonderful snack choices!

Kidney Disease
Due to high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, African Americans have an increased risk of developing kidney failure. According to Crystal Tyson, MD, a nephrologist at Duke, “The best way to protect your kidneys is to prevent or control high blood pressure and diabetes.  Improve your diet by eating less salt and eating more vegetables, fruit, whole grains and nuts. Exercise regularly.” African Americans need to visit their doctor regularly to check their blood sugar, blood pressure, urine protein and kidney function.

  • African Americans suffer from kidney failure at a significantly higher rate than Caucasians – more than 3 times higher.
  • African Americans constitute more than 35% of all patients in the U.S. receiving dialysis for kidney failure, but only represent 13.2% of the overall U.S. population.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in African Americans.
  • High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure among African Americans. Make sure you control your blood pressure by taking medication as prescribed and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Here are three steps that you can take to prevent kidney disease and to detect it early in order to slow the progression to kidney failure:
1. Ask your family for information. Talk to your parents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles about whether anyone in your family has high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease from lupus or other disorders.
2. Get tested. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, a family history of kidney failure or are over age 60, you should be tested.
3. Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Adopt a low salt diet, try to maintain a healthy body weight, increase your physical activity to incorporate extra minutes of physical activity per week. Don’t smoke. Avoid alcohol to excess and be aware of all over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

Ask your doctor about colon cancer screening recommendations.  Be knowledgeable about your family history.  Control your weight by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a well-balanced diet and an exercise routine.          

FOR MORE INFORMATION:   1-800-227-2345