Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer–related deaths (link opens in new window) in the United States. It develops in the colon or rectum, usually as a small growth called a polyp. Because it can take several years for the polyp to develop into cancer, regular screening can often help prevent colorectal cancer. How? By finding and removing polyps before they become cancerous.
Don’t wait for symptoms to take action . The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends screening for colorectal cancer beginning at a0067e 50 in most people. Chances of developing colorectal cancer increase a great deal after age 50. But if you are under 50, it is important to ask your doctor if you should begin getting tested earlier.
When colon cancer does have symptoms, they may include:
Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer. Other health problems can also cause them. But if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor.
Also, remember that early cancer does not cause pain, so it is important not to wait to feel pain before seeing a doctor. When colorectal cancer is detected early, it can have a 90 percent or better cure rate.
Amazingly, an estimated 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented if men and women 50 and older were screened routinely. However, only 61 percent of this group get screened.
This material is intended for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult with your doctor.
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