Colorectal cancer — cancer of the colon or rectum — is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. More than 148,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are expected to be diagnosed this year and more than 56,000 people will die from this disease.

Colorectal cancer, which affects men and women at equally frequent rates, develops from precancerous growths called polyps. Removing these polyps is the most effective way to prevent the development of colorectal cancer.

Early Detection Screening

With early detection colorectal cancer is preventable.
It is also important to remember that young people can get this disease too, don’t wait to get screened.
Regulations for Screenings (Please look at our Screening Guidelines for further helpful tips regarding colorectal cancer screening options):
Colorectal screening is imperative for everyone at age 50.
If you have a family history of colorectal cancer it is recommended that you get a colonoscopy at age 40, or 10 years prior to when you relative got diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
If you are African American it is recommended that you have a colonoscopy by age 45.

If you don't have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, the following is recommended for patients age 50 and older:

Fecal Occult Blood Test — This test, which looks for blood in the stool, is recommended annually. Polyps bleed more than normal tissue and these tiny amounts of blood can be detected by a test called hemocult
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy — This is an exam of the lower section of the colon and rectum, where most polyps and cancers are located. This test is recommended every five years.
Colonoscopy — This an exam of the entire colon and rectum that is recommended every five to 10 years or when the fecal occult blood test or sigmoidoscopy is positive.


People with a family history of this disease are more likely to develop it themselves.
Women with a history of ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer have a higher than average chance of developing colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer may be associated with a poor diet. Such as high consumption of red and processed meats, and low consumption of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It is also recommended that you intake the recommended levels of Calcium and Vitamin D.
Colorectal cancer may also be associated with a sedentary lifestyle and obesity.
Cigarette smoking, particularly long-term smoking, can increase the risk of colon cancer.


About 90 percent of colorectal cancers and deaths are thought to be preventable. In addition to regular colorectal cancer screenings, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.

To prevent colorectal cancer, the following is recommended:​

Eat a well-balanced diet.
Reduce the fat you consume, particularly animal fat.
Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Exercise regularly.
Don't smoke.
Take a low dose aspirin a day. Aspirin can reduce the development of polyps, particularly in patients with previous history of polyps or colorectal cancer.
Take calcium supplements. Researchers believe calcium decreases the growth rate of polyps​ ​

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