March is a reminder for Alaska Native people 40 and older to be screened for colon cancer

March 1, 2024

Colorectal cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers among Alaska Native people. Alaska Native men and women are two times more likely to get diagnosed with colon cancer than non-Natives.

But there is hope, it is also one of the most preventable and treatable types of cancer. An important step to preventing colon cancer is to be screened. It is recommended that Alaska Native people should start screening at age 40. If you have a family history of colon cancer, speak to your health care provider about when screening is right for you.

The Colorectal Screening Clinic offers colonoscopy screenings and care to ANMC patients. Screening tests can find colon problems early, so they can be taken care of before they get serious. There are also stool tests for screening that you can do at home. Speak to your health care provider or call the clinic at 907-729-4444 to schedule a colonoscopy.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. In addition to screening, here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of colon cancer:

  1. Quit smoking and/or using other forms of tobacco, including chew and iq’mik.
  2. Exercise regularly. Physical activity can halve your risk of colorectal cancer.
  3. Eat well and keep a healthy weight. Discuss a diet and exercise plan that works for you with your provider.
  4. Limit alcohol consumption. Drink more water.

For more information about ANTHC’s Cancer Program, visit

Learn about ANTHC’s tobacco cessation services:

Related story: Demystifying the colonoscopy

Related story: What is ANTHC doing about colorectal cancer among Alaska Native people?

Browse More Stories

Share This Story