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Colorectal Cancer Awareness
The American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for the number of colorectal cancer cases in the United States are for 2009:
Overall, the lifetime risk for developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 19 (5.2%). This risk is slightly higher in men than in women. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States when men and women are considered separately, and the second leading cause when both sexes are combined. It is expected to cause about 49,920 deaths (25,240 in men and 24,680 in women) during 2009.
It is one of the most preventable of cancers, because it develops from polyps that can be removed before they become cancerous.
The death rate (the number of deaths per 100,000 people per year) from colorectal cancer has been dropping for more than 20 years. There are a number of likely reasons for this. One is that polyps are being found by screening and removed before they can develop into cancers. Screening is also allowing more colorectal cancers to be found earlier when the disease is easier to cure. In addition, treatment for colorectal cancer has improved over the last several years. As a result, there are now more than 1 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States.
Colorectal Cancer Facts from www.preventcancer.org
RISK REDUCTION AND EARLY DETECTION
If you are at average risk for colorectal cancer, start having regular screening at age 50. If you are at greater risk, you may need to begin regular screening at an earlier age. The best time to get screened is before any symptoms appear.
Tests that find pre-cancer and cancer:
Tests that mainly find cancer:
Any abnormal result of a virtual colonoscopy or double-contrast barium enema, as well as a positive FOBT, FIT or sDNA test, should be followed up with a colonoscopy.