Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer—but it doesn’t have to be.
Both men and women are at risk for colorectal cancer.
There is strong scientific evidence that screening for colorectal cancer beginning at age 50 saves lives!
WHAT IS COLORECTAL CANCER?
Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. Cancer is always named for the part of the body where it starts, even if it spreads to other parts of the body later.
Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. The colon is the large intestine or large bowel. The rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus.
SCREENING SAVES LIVES
If you’re 50 or older, getting a colorectal cancer screening test could save your life.
- Colorectal cancer usually starts from precancerous polyps in the colon or rectum. A polyp is a growth that shouldn’t be there.
- Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer.
- Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.
- Screening tests also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best.
WHO GETS COLORECTAL CANCER?
Colorectal cancer occurs most often in people aged 50 years or older. The risk increases with age. Both men and women can get colorectal cancer. If you are 50 or older, talk to your doctor about getting screened.
AM I AT INCREASED RISK?
Your risk for colorectal cancer may be higher than average if:
- You or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.
- You have inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis.
- You have a genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer.
If you think you may be at increased risk, speak with your doctor about when to begin screening, which test is right for you, and how often you should be tested.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COLORECTAL CANCER?
People who have polyps or colorectal cancer don’t always have symptoms, especially at first. Someone could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it. If there are symptoms, they may include:
- Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement).
- Pains, aches, or cramps in your stomach that don’t go away.
- Losing weight and you don’t know why.
If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. They may be caused by something other than cancer. However, the only way to know what is causing them is to see your doctor.
Colorectal cancer screening tests may be covered by your health insurance policy without a deductible or co-pay. Check with your plan to find out which tests are covered for you.
To make an appointment at Lifecare Family Health & Dental Center, call 330-454-2000.