Martha Jefferson Healthwise: Colorectal Cancer Awareness

March 26, 2014

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month and a local husband and wife are taking steps to raise awareness about colon cancer.

Eric Martin and his wife Jacklene are happily married but the couple recently suffered a family loss when their nephew died from colon cancer.

With Jacklene working in the medical field as the Director of Community Benefit at Starr Hill Health Center in Charlottesville, this death was a wake-up call that they needed do more to take care of themselves.

"What that said to us is that we really need to get screened. We actually got screened on our anniversary and did it together," said Jacklene Martin.

This isn't your typical anniversary activity, but it's one that was well worth it.

"You do leave with a good peace of mind and you get the results. If they are positive or negative, you feel better all the way around," said Eric Martin.

According to the American Cancer Society, African Americans are more at risk for colon cancer than any other racial group in the United States and also have a lower survival rate.

That's why many healthcare providers recommend African American's be screened much earlier starting at 45 especially if the disease runs in your family.

"It's just important because screening for colon cancer has a potential for catching pre-cancer polyps and therefore we all need to have it done," said Jacklene Martin.

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