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Stanford colorectal surgeon to speak on colon cancer
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If you're 50 or older, you need to think about being screened for colon cancer.

Natalie Kirilcuk, a Stanford University School of Medicine colorectal surgeon, will answer your questions about colon cancer at a free seminar in Turlock on March 7.

The seminar, which is co-sponsored by Emanuel Cancer Center and Stanford Healthcare, will focus on the signs, symptoms, screening and treatment of colon cancer. The event will be held at 10 a.m. at Emanuel Cancer Center, 880 E. Tuolumne Road. Dr. Kirilcuk is a clinical assistant professor, surgery - general surgery at Stanford.

"It's very important that people over 50 undergo a colorectal cancer screening because your chances of developing the disease increase considerably after reaching the half century mark," said Michael Iltis, executive director of Emanuel Cancer Center. "This seminar is an opportunity for community residents to have their questions answered by a Stanford specialist, and to find out what they can do to both reduce their risk of developing colon cancer and take charge of their own wellness."

Area residents who are unable to attend the morning seminar in Turlock have the option of attending a similar event later the same day in Merced. That seminar will start at 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express, 151 S. Parsons Ave., in Merced.

To register for the Turlock or Merced seminar phone 250-5355.

According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 20 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 90 percent of those cases involve people ages 50 and up.
Other risk factors that may increase a person's chance of developing colorectal cancer include:

• Having a personal history of colorectal polyps or inflammatory bowel disease;

• Having a personal or family history of colorectal cancer;

• Being African-American;

• Eating a diet high in fat;

• Being physically inactive;

• Obesity;

• Smoking and heavy alcohol use;

• Diabetes.

People at increased risk for colorectal cancer should talk with their doctor about being screened for the disease before the age of 50. Colorectal cancer may be diagnosed after symptoms appear, but most people with early stage disease will not experience any symptoms.