March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

This March, Snoqualmie Valley Health is honoring Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of early detection and prevention of one of the most prevalent and yet preventable forms of cancer. Colorectal cancer, which includes cancers of the colon and rectum, affects millions of lives globally each year. Despite its widespread impact, there is hope in the form of regular screenings, which play a crucial role in early detection and treatment.

Understanding Colorectal Cancer:

Colorectal cancer occurs when abnormal growths, known as polyps, form in the colon or rectum. While not all polyps develop into cancer, certain types, such as adenomatous polyps, have the potential to become malignant over time. If left undetected and untreated, colorectal cancer can spread to other parts of the body, leading to serious complications and even death.

The Importance of Regular Colon Screenings:

Regular screenings, such as colonoscopies, are vital tools in the fight against colorectal cancer. These screenings can detect polyps and early-stage cancers before symptoms even appear, greatly increasing the chances of successful treatment and survival. In fact, when colorectal cancer is detected early, the five-year survival rate is over 90%. Stool tests are another form of screening, which aid in detecting colorectal cancer.

If you are over the age of 45, it is time to start regular colon screenings. With advanced technology and an experienced staff, Snoqualmie Valley Health ensures the best quality testing, diagnosis and treatment while offering personalized care that is as pleasant and comfortable as possible.

Getting Screened:

While the recommended age to begin regular screenings can vary based on individual risk factors and guidelines from healthcare organizations, generally, individuals aged 45 and older should undergo regular screenings for colorectal cancer. However, those with a family history or certain genetic conditions may need to start screening earlier.

Patients may be referred by their doctors for office consultations, or patients may self-refer if their insurance allows. Consultations are located at our Snoqualmie Valley Hospital Clinic. Please take the opportunity to use our Direct Access program, which allows healthy and age-appropriate people to schedule a screening colonoscopy without the need for an office visit prior to the procedure.

Overcoming Barriers to Screening:

Despite the potentially life-saving benefits of regular screenings, many individuals still avoid or delay getting tested due to various barriers, including fear, lack of awareness, and misconceptions about the procedure. If you or someone you know is struggling with one of these barriers, know that our team is here to help. Schedule a consultation to speak with our board-certified Gastroenterology provider to get all your questions answered.


Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month serves as a reminder of the importance of regular screenings in preventing and detecting colorectal cancer. By raising awareness and encouraging early detection through screenings, we can save lives and reduce the burden of this disease on individuals and families in our community. Remember, taking proactive steps towards colorectal health today can lead to a brighter and healthier tomorrow.

Learn more about Gastroenterology services at Snoqualmie Valley Health.