Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Every year, about 140,000 people in the United States get colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die of it.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.There are several screening test options available. Only about two-thirds of adults in the United States are up to date with colorectal cancer screening.
A change in bowel habits
Blood in or on stool (bowel movement)
Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty all the way
Abdominal pain, aches, or cramps that don’t go away
Losing weight and not knowing why
Screening Guidelines Regular screening, beginning at age 50, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer. For ages 50 to 75 years old, getting screened for colorectal cancer regularly is important. Adults age 76 to 85 should ask their doctor if they should be screened.