Colon Cancer Screening Saves Lives
Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short. The colon is the large intestine or large bowel. The rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus.Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be. If everybody age 50 or older had regular screening tests, at least one-third of deaths from this cancer could be avoided. So if you are 50 or older, start screening now.
Who Gets Colorectal Cancer?
Both men and women can get colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is most often found in people 50 and older. The risk for getting colorectal cancer increases with age.
Are You at High Risk?
- Your risk for colorectal cancer may be higher than average if:
- You or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.
- You have inflammatory bowel disease.
- People at high risk for colorectal cancer may need earlier or more frequent tests than other people. Talk to your doctor about when you should begin screening and how often you should be tested.
Often No Symptoms
Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum. A polyp is a growth that shouldn’t be there. People who have polyps or colorectal cancer sometimes don’t have symptoms, especially at first. This means that someone could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it. That is why having a screening test is so important.
Screening Saves Lives
If you’re 50 or older, getting a screening test for colorectal cancer could save your life. Here’s how:
- Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum. A polyp is a growth that shouldn’t be there. Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer. Screening tests can find polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.
- Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early. When it is found early, the chance of being cured is good.
- As a matter of fact, screening colonoscopy “has a major impact — a huge, huge effect — on reducing colon cancer deaths,” according to Ann G. Zauber. Zauber, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, told www.medicinet.com that, “The risk for dying from colon cancer drops 90 percent after the initial colonoscopy.”
- Have you had the test? If not, talk to your doctor. It could save your life.