Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States and the second leading cause in men. It is expected to cause about 50,260 deaths during 2017.1 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 polyps that can be removed before they become cancerous.
Don’t wait to experience symptoms before you take action. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends screening for colorectal cancer beginning at age 50 for most people. Chances of developing colorectal cancer increase a great deal after age 50. But even if you are under 50, it’s important to ask your doctor if you should begin getting tested earlier.
When colon cancer does have symptoms, they may include:
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer, but early cancer often doesn’t cause pain, so don’t wait to feel pain before seeing a doctor. When colorectal cancer is detected early, it can have a 90 percent or better cure rate.2
Amazingly, an estimated 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented if men and women aged 50 and older were screened routinely; however, only 61 percent of this group gets screened.1
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.
Maintaining a healthy weight reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis.Read about obesity and illness
Adults need vaccinations, too. Know which you’re up to date on and which to avoid.Read adult vaccinations
From abrasion to X-ray, the Humana glossary offers explanations for common insurance and medical terms.Browse our healthcare glossary