What is colorectal cancer?
- Cancer is a disease process where abnormal cells grow and divide uncontrollably in the body.
- Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is cancer that starts in the colon or rectum.
- The colon and rectum are both parts of the digestive system. Specifically, they form the large intestine.
Who does colorectal cancer affect?
- Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer among men and women and the third leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States.
- Approximately 1 in 22 men and 1 in 24 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime.
- Over 140,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and over 50,000 people die from colorectal cancer per year in the United States.
- Colorectal cancer is most often diagnosed between the ages of 45 and 75.
How can I prevent colorectal cancer?
- In most cases, people with early colorectal cancer do not have symptoms.
- Screening tests are designed to find cancers before they cause symptoms.
- Many colorectal cancers and deaths can be prevented by increasing the use of established screening tests.
- Average risk: Adults at average risk of developing colorectal cancer should begin screening at age 45.
- Higher risk: African-Americans are at higher risk. People with a family history of colorectal cancer should begin at age 40 or earlier.
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