Colorectal cancer (i.e., cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Each year there are approximately 130,000 new cases of colorectal cancer. For men and women, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20 or 5%. It is estimated that about 50,000 people will die this year from the disease. If everyone aged 50 and older had regular screening tests, at least 60% of these deaths could be prevented.
Colorectal cancer is diagnosed most often in those 50 years of age or older, and the risk of getting colorectal cancer increases with age. Some people may be considered high risk for getting colorectal cancer:
So, how does screening save lives? Well, colorectal cancer usually begins as a polyp, or an abnormal growth, in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests also allow clinicians to detect colorectal cancer in an early stage when the chance of cure is greater.
Here at Physicians East, our dedicated gastroenterology staff helps our patients and their families complete the colorectal screening tests recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. It is currently recommended that colorectal screening take place for men and women aged 50 to 75 years of age. Recommended tests that can be performed by Physicians East providers include:
If you have questions about colorectal cancer screening, please call our Physicians East GI Specialty Center at 252-413-6260, and our staff can help you understand the best screening options for you.