Colorectal cancer — cancer of the colon or rectum — is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in the U.S.
A screening too important to forget
Beginning at age 50, both men and women should have a screening test. For those at average risk for colon cancer, a colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years. People with certain risk factors, such as family or personal history, may need a colonoscopy earlier or more frequently.
Colonoscopy is the preferred method of screening because it not only detects cancer but can identify pre-cancerous growths (called polyps) and remove them before they turn into cancer. Colonoscopy is the only screening test that can remove pre-cancerous polyps and, therefore, decrease the risk of developing cancer.
Your primary care provider must refer you for colonoscopy because family history and risk factors determine the timing of appropriate screening. Please talk to your primary care provider to help reduce your risk.
If you decline a colonoscopy, Fecal Immunoassay Test (FIT) is a reliable alternative that should be performed once a year.
Why the urgency?
- Every 9 minutes someone in the U.S. dies of colorectal cancer.
- Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths.
- Colorectal cancer is one of the most easily prevented cancers because it develops from polyps that can be removed before they become cancerous.
- If detected early, colon cancer treatment is successful with 85-90% of patients living at least five years.
- You have the power to do something about this cancer...get your colon checked.