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Mayo Clinic lighting event to mark Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, Austin, Faribault and Owatonna will light front entrances of their facilities in royal blue the evening of March 4, in recognition of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Colorectal cancer is the third-most diagnosed cancer in the U.S. and will account for more than 40,000 deaths this year, according to the American Cancer Society. For people with average risk, screening should begin around age 45. However, people with an increased risk like family history should be screened sooner. Cancer screenings, lifestyle changes and added awareness can reduce the risk for colorectal cancer.

Here are five things you can do to avoid developing colon cancer:

• Eat your veggies and healthy fats. People who eat high-fiber diets and consume healthy fats, found in olive oil, avocados and nuts, are less likely to develop the disease.

• Exercise. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week.

• Watch your weight. Extra pounds increase your risk for colon cancer.

• Limit alcohol and do not smoke. No more than one alcoholic drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. If you smoke, quit.

• Follow screening guidelines that are right for you based on your age, risk factors and family history.

To learn more about colon cancer, find out the latest information by visiting Mayo Clinic Health System’s website. Updated information will be posted on the Mayo Clinic Health System website and social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.