Colorectal Cancer Screening and Prevention

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Colorectal Cancer Screening: Saves Lives

Get the facts, risk factors and screening options.

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The risk for colorectal cancer is real for both men and women.

Colon cancer is preventable and treatable.

Understanding your risk for colon cancer is the best way to prevent it, and early detection is the best way to treat it.

Current guidelines recommend that most adults begin their colorectal cancer screenings at age 50. Those under age 50 with other risk factors and symptoms should talk with their physician.

Colorectal cancer

Our pledge for the 80 percent by 2018ColorectalCancer_eightyby2018

80% by 2018 is a movement in which dozens of organizations have committed to eliminating colorectal cancer as a major public health problem and are working toward the shared goal of reaching 80% screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

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Colorectal cancer, sometimes called colon and rectal cancers, often begins as a growth called a polyp. A polyp is a growth of abnormal cells that may form on the inner wall of the colon or rectum. Some polyps become cancer over time.  Finding and removing polyps can prevent colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in men and women in the United States. Over the years, deaths from colorectal cancer have decreased with the use of colonoscopies and stool blood tests.  However, in 2016 there were approximately 135,000 new diagnoses of colon cancer and 49,000 deaths (American Cancer Society) even though colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers.

(Content from National Cancer Institute)

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Know your risk

Are you 50 or older?

Are you at high risk for colon cancer?

Ask your doctor about a screening today

Everyone is at some risk for developing cancer of the colon or rectum, collectively known as colorectal cancer. And everyone can take steps to reduce his or her risk. In fact, about 90 percent of colorectal cancers may be preventable.

In the United States, the average lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 5 percent, or one in 20. You may be at higher risk if one or more of the following factors apply to you:

Learn the factors and how to lower risk ›

Screenings and facts

Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests: What’s right for you?

The following information will help you understand your choices for colorectal cancer screening tests. Fill out the questionnaire and receive a summary of key factors to discuss with your doctor. This information can help you and your doctor determine the screening option that’s best for you.

Use the decision tool ›

Colonoscopy facts

Prevention

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Four steps you can take to prevent colon cancer

One of the things that makes cancer so frightening is that its causes are so often unknown or out of our control. With colorectal cancer, though, much is within our control. By some estimates, this form of cancer is 90 percent preventable.

So why is it still the second-leading cause of cancer deaths? One reason could be that people just aren't aware that there are steps they can take to prevent it. Let's change that.

The scientific evidence points to four actions you can take that will greatly reduce your risk of developing this deadly cancer:

  • Take 30 minutes a day to exercise. 
  • Take a closer look at what you eat. 
  • Take another shot at quitting smoking. 
  • Take your doctor's advice about screenings.

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Which screening is right for you?

Elizabeth O’Neill, M.D., from Providence Medical Group-Gateway, explains the difference between a colonoscopy and a FIT test. Any screening is better than no screening. Talk to your doctor about which one is right for you.

Need a colonoscopy?

Find a physician in your area and schedule your test today.

A survivor's story

For years, Doug Dallmann had experienced symptoms of colorectal cancer, but if wasn't until he came to Providence Cancer Institute that he was diagnosed. See how Doug battled this disease and was able to educate others to get screened. 

From the experts

Colon cancer is the third-deadliest cancer in the U.S. But because it has no early warning signs, colon cancer can be deadly if it progresses. Screening is essential. A family affected by colon cancer shares their story.

Myth busting colonoscopy

From the prep to the probing, the colonoscopy has a mythology all its own. Here’s why it’s not so bad.