Riverside & the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable's 80 percent by 2018 movement:

80 by 2018 Initiative Logo

Riverside Health System knows that early detection of colorectal cancer saves lives and has pledged support to the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable's 80 percent by 2018 movement.

Along with over 1000 organizations, Riverside Health System is committed to substantially reducing colorectal cancer as a major public health problem and are working toward the shared goal of reaching 80 percent screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

Your colon, also called the large intestine, plays a major role in overall health. The colon removes nutrients, salt and water to form stool. The colon wall's are lined with muscles, guiding its contents along. Billions of bacteria coat the colon and its contents, living in a healthy balance with the body.

Anatomically, the colon connects to the small intestine via the ileum to the cecum (last part of the small intestine to the first part of the colon) in the lower right abdomen. The rest of the colon is divided into four parts: ascending, transverse, descending and the sigmoid colon, and attaches to the rectum.

There are many ways to keep your colon happy and healthy. Here are a few lifestyle tips:
1. Maintain a healthy weight
2. Exercise regularly - low physical activity is linked to increased risk for colorectal cancer
3. Don't smoke and if you do, consider quitting
4. Limit alcohol intake (occasional consumption of alcohol is fine, but too much can increase your colon cancer risk)
5. Limit intake of red and processed meats (these foods may be linked to colorectal cancer)
6. Load up on vegetables, fruits and whole grains
7. Fill up on fiber (fiber makes you fill full and may help prevent overeating)

Screening is the key to preventing colon cancer
We're raising Colon Cancer Awareness through events in Hampton Roads and encouraging early screenings.

Consult with a Riverside colon health provider
If you are over 50, it's time to join the "colonoscopy club" and schedule this important screening. Many of our Riverside providers offer free consults so you can ask questions and learn more.

About colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer. Colorectal cancer affects all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people ages 50 and older.

The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to get screened regularly starting at age 50. There are often no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer -that's why it's so important to get screened.

People over age 50 have the highest risk of colorectal cancer. You may also be at higher risk if you are African American, smoke or have a family history of colon or rectal cancer.

Everyone can take these healthy steps to help prevent colon cancer:

  • Get screened starting at age 50
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke
  • Get plenty of physical activity and eat healthy