March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and Hoosiers age 50 and older and those with a family history of the disease are urged to get a checkup because colorectal cancer is the second highest cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Doctors say it’s beatable, treatable and preventable. Dr James C. Hobley says it begins as a polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Some changes of those polyps are harmless, but others turn into cancer over the course of a few years. Hobley says a lot of advances have been made, and treatment has improved over the last few decades, but he stresses the importance of early diagnosis. Men and women are advised to be screened at age 50, African-Americans at 45, and anyone with a family history of the disease is urged to be tested earlier. Hobley says people tend to put off that checkup out of fear it will be painful. He says that’s not the case and says the risk you take by not going to the doctor isn’t worth it. Hobley says people tend to take their vehicles in for a checkup more often than they go to the doctor themselves. The American Cancer Society says diets that are high in vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and low in red and processed meats have been linked with lower colorectal cancer risk. For more information on colorectal cancer, visit the Indiana Can-cer Consortium website at