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The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is joining public health officials across the country by recognizing March as National Colon Cancer Awareness Month and encouraging people to begin screening for colorectal cancer soon after turning 50 and then to continue being screened at regular intervals. People with a family history or certain medical conditions may need to start screening even earlier.

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Connecticut. Health officials project that over 1,600 Connecticut residents will be diagnosed this year, and over 400 will die from the disease. Risk factors for colorectal cancer include being over the age of 50, a family history of colorectal cancer, a high fat diet, heavy use of alcohol, obesity and smoking.

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