Colorectal Cancer Screening Saves Lives
Without a doubt, the most effective way to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer is to get screened routinely. If you’re 50 to 75 years old, you should get screened regularly.
If you’re younger than 50 and think you may be at high risk of getting colorectal cancer, or if you’re older than 75, ask your doctor if you should be screened.
Almost all colorectal cancers begin as precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Such polyps can be present in the colon for years before invasive cancer develops.
They may not cause any symptoms, especially early on. Colorectal cancer screening can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. In this way, colorectal cancer is prevented. Screening can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best.
FACTS ABOUT COLON CANCER
- Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
- Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. If you have symptoms, they may include blood in or on the stool, stomach pain that doesn’t go away, or losing weight and you don’t know why. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor.
- Every year, about 140,000 people in the United States get colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die of it.
- Risk increases with age. More than 90% of colorectal cancers occur in people who are 50 years old or older.
- There are several screening test options. Talk with your doctor about which is right for you.
- Only about two-thirds of adults in the United States are up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening.
- Source: www.cdc.gov