Thinking that you might have colorectal cancer is a terrifying thought. What if we told you that the death rate has dropped for several decades in both men in women? Due to updated screening methods, earlier detection, and improved treatment, there are more than one million colorectal cancer survivors in the United States. Learn more about how to screen for colorectal cancer and what the process means for you and your family.

 

What do I need to know about how to screen for colorectal cancer?

Finding colorectal cancer when it is small – and hasn’t spread – is often key to higher success in defeating the third deadliest cancer. TheAmerican Cancer Society currently recommends that people at average risk start regular screenings at 45-years-old. This number recently decreased due to the increased rate of younger adults developing colorectal cancer. If you are in good health, you should continue the regular screenings until you are 75-years-old. From 76-years-old to 85-years-old, the decision to screen for colorectal cancer depends on your overall health and preference. For those above the age of 85-years-old, there are no current recommendations for colorectal screening.

 

What happens during a colorectal cancer screening?

There are two categories of colorectal cancer screenings, according to the American Cancer Society. Stool-based tests allow an opportunity for the discovery of polyps. Many stool-based tests for hidden blood in stool samples. There are no precautions that need to be made before the test, such as dietary restrictions. The other test, a colonoscopy, is often needed to further diagnose after the stool-based tests.

What happens if I get an abnormal screening for colorectal cancer?

If your results from the stool-based test come back abnormal, you will need a colonoscopy to diagnose whether you have colorectal cancer. During a colonoscopy, the physician will look at the length of your colon and may biopsy and/or remove any polyps. Colonoscopies need to be performed less, but they take more preparation than stool-based tests.

Learn more about what you can do to protect your butt against colorectal cancer. If you have any questions or concerns about colorectal cancer screenings, reach out to your primary doctor.

 

You may have heard that the American Cancer Society recently reduced its screening guidelines for colorectal cancer to 45-years-old. What does that mean and why were the screening guidelines reduced from 50-years-old? Learn more about what early age onset colorectal cancer is and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.

 

Why were the colorectal screening guidelines reduced?

The American Cancer Society recently reduced the standard screening age for those at average risk of colorectal cancer for multiple reasons. The first, and possibly most important, is the increase of diagnoses at younger ages. Early age onset colorectal cancer occurs when people who are under 50-years-old develop colon cancer. While diagnoses over the age of 50-years-old and above are decreasing, those under 50-years-old are seeing higher rates of the disease. Reducing the screening age is one way to ensure that those diagnosed with early age onset colon cancer have a better chance of fighting the disease.

 

What can I do to prevent early age onset colorectal cancer?

Aside from regular screenings starting at 45-years-old, there are multiple ways that you can lower your risk for early age onset colorectal cancer. First, you can eat healthily and stay at a healthy weight. Avoid process meats and sugar, while adding in more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the first steps to making sure you stay healthy as you age. Second, learn about your family history. If anyone has had colorectal cancer in your family, you may be more prone to developing the disease. Additionally, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease may increase your risk of colorectal cancer. Finally, pay attention to early symptoms.[1] If you notice changes in your bowel movements or increase in fatigue, talk to your physician about the symptoms.

 

If you think you may be at risk for early age onset colorectal cancer, reach out to your family physician. Early detection is key in survival rates for colorectal cancer, so make sure to take your symptoms seriously and stay on top of your health.

Learn more about colorectal cancer and stay up-to-date by reading our blog.

Colorectal cancer, commonly known as colon cancer, is one of the world’s deadliest cancers. However, there is a lot of confusion about the disease. Know the facts about colorectal cancer and what puts you at risk.

 

What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer occurs where there are abnormal cells that divide and survive within your color or the rectum. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer often starts as a noncancerous growth, called a polyp. The most common type is an adenomatous polyp, also known as an adenoma. While one-third of people can expect to develop at least one adenoma, only 10 percent are estimated to turn into cancer. The chance that the adenoma becomes cancerous increases as it gets bigger.

 

How likely am I to get colorectal cancer?

In 2019, there will be around 101,420 new cases of colon cancer and 44,180 new cases of rectal cancer. Right now, your lifetime odds of developing colorectal cancer is 1 in 22 for men and 1 in 24 for women. However, there are various other factors that will affect your likeliness to develop the disease. The American Cancer Society predicts that there are over one million colorectal cancer survivors today.

 

Why are men more likely to get colorectal cancer than women?

Colorectal cancer is 30 percent more likely to occur in men than women. Risk factors, such as likeliness to smoke cigarettes and hormones, play a large role in making cancer more prominent in men. According to studies from the American Cancer Society, the median age for colon cancer diagnoses in men is 68-years-old and for women is 72-years-old. The median age for colon cancer diagnoses for both men and women is 63-years-old.

 

What is the survival rate for colorectal cancer?

Luckily, deaths related to colorectal cancer are decreasing due to earlier screening and advanced technology. According to the American Cancer Society, the relative survival rate for colorectal cancer is at 65 percent at five years after diagnoses and 58 percent at 10 years after diagnoses. One way to increase your chance of fighting this deadly disease is to follow the screening guidelines and pay attention to early warning signs of colorectal cancer.[1]

Learn more about colorectal cancer through our other blogs and get involved with the Colon Cancer Foundation to help us support colorectal cancer survivors and their families.