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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.

 

This month, honor the thousands of colon cancer patients, survivors, and champions by spreading awareness regarding colorectal cancer during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Since 2000, the colorectal cancer community has mobilized during the month of March to raise awareness, increase education and convince loved ones to get screened. There are multiple ways to get involved during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, starting with learning more about colorectal cancer.

Get educated about colorectal cancer

While colorectal cancer in adults over 50-years-old has declined, colorectal cancer is on the rise among younger generations. Today, even teenagers are being diagnosed at alarmingly greater rates. Around 13,500 people under the age of 50 will become diagnosed with colon cancer. One of the largest issues that screenings do no begin until 50, so these diagnoses will often become late-stage diagnoses. Make sure to have the conversation about colorectal cancer with your loved ones and your doctors earlier than later.

Wear blue to show your support

March 1 is officially Dress in Blue Day, but you can wear blue all month long to show support for colorectal cancer survivors and patients. Encourage your workplace and friends to wear blue to get the conversation about colorectal cancer started. Make sure to post to social media and tag the Colon Cancer Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Participate in the 16th Annual Colon Cancer Challenge

Join us for the 16th Annual Colon Cancer Challenge on March 24 to show support for those with colorectal cancer and raise funds for the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation. We are ecstatic to host the challenge this year at the Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. In 2018, an estimated 135,000 Americans were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. If caught early enough, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent. With the 16th Annual Colon Cancer Challenge, we can work together to reduce these fatalities. Whether you participate in the 5K or spearhead fundraising efforts among your friends, you are helping the Colon Cancer Foundation to improve the life of current patients, survivors and future patients of this deadly disease. No matter what distance you cover, you will make up ground in the race to prevent colorectal cancer.

Whether you choose to dress in blue or attend the 16th Annual Colon Cancer Challenge — we hope you do both — make sure to show your support during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Even after the month of March, you can help us fight colorectal cancer with the “Eighty by 2018.” Take the pledge to get screened,  choose a healthy way of eating and lead a  physically active life.