About Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. It affects both men and women and almost always starts as a benign growth called a polyp.
Polyps originate in the inner lining of the colon where they may be visible during a common screening test known as a colonoscopy.
- Family history of polyps or colon cancer
- Previous personal history colon polyps
- Having ovarian or uterine cancer before age 50
- Individuals with inflammatory bowel disease
- Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
- Lack of exercise
- Eating a diet rich in fats
Colorectal cancer rarely causes symptoms until the disease is already advanced, and at that point, less than 50% are able to be cured. For that reason, early detection is crucial. Colorectal cancers found early can be cured in 90% of cases.
Individuals with an average risk should start getting screened for colon cancer at age 45. Most guidelines do not recommend screening asymptomatic individuals under the age of 45 unless they have a positive family history or a predisposing, inherited syndrome.
There are three types of screening tests available, the colonoscopy, Cologuard and the FOBT Test. Click here for more information and screening locations.