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News Release

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit clinic providing health and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma, wants to educate patients about risk factors and prevention methods for colorectal cancer.

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is observed every March to highlight the prevalence of colorectal cancer and provide information about the disease. Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Luckily, there are prevention methods.

“Early detection is the best prevention for colorectal cancer,” said Janice Hixson, MD, Oklahoma City Indian Clinic’s Chief Medical Officer. “Regular screening can detect polyps before they become cancerous.”

The CDC recommends regular screening beginning at age 45. Regular screening increases your chances of detecting cancer in an early stage, when it’s easiest to treat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly nine out of ten people who found and treated colorectal cancer early are still alive five years later. Talk to your provider about which screening method is right for you.

In addition to routine screening, increasing physical activity, keeping a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco and limiting alcohol are all ways to reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer.

“Your risk for colorectal cancer increases as you get older,” Hixson said. “It’s important to be aware of your risk factors, and continue to get screened regularly.”

Other risk factors for colorectal cancer include inflammatory bowel disease, a personal or family history of polyps or colorectal cancer, or genetic syndromes, such as familial adenomatous polyposis or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).

If you’re at higher risk for colorectal cancer, you may need to watch for symptoms and get screened earlier or more often. Symptoms of colorectal cancer include a change in bowel habits, blood in or on your stool, diarrhea, constipation, the feeling that your bowel does not empty all the way, unexplained weight loss and abdominal pain that doesn’t go away. If you’re experiencing symptoms of colorectal cancer, talk to your provider. Oklahoma City Indian Clinic patients can schedule an appointment with their medical team at (405) 948-4900.

Colorectal cancer can be deadly, but there are methods for prevention and early detection.

About Oklahoma City Indian Clinic

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic was established in 1974 to provide excellent health care and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma. The clinic staff cares for more than 21,000 patients from over 220 federally recognized tribes every year. American Indians can receive a range of services, including medical, dental, pediatrics, prenatal, pharmacy, optometry, physical fitness, nutrition, family programs and behavioral health services. For more information, please call (405) 948-4900 or visit

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