A rise in colorectal cancer cases among young people has led the national guidelines for getting screened for colon cancer to age 45, rather than 50. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. During this important month, CGH Digestive Health Services encourages people to learn more about colorectal cancer symptoms, risk factors, and screening options.
An estimated 153,020 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 52,550 will die from it this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Colorectal cancer is a term that includes colon cancer and rectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest and fourth most common form of cancer in the U.S. and affects both men and women. Most colorectal cancers develop in people above age 50, but more than one in 10 diagnoses are in younger people. In fact, cases of young-onset colorectal cancer are rising. Many people put off their routine screening exams during COVID.
But there is some good news! Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers and is highly treatable when detected early. Most people should begin getting screened for colorectal cancer at age 45, according to the new national guidelines. People at higher risk, including those with symptoms, a family history of colorectal cancer, and certain inherited genetic syndromes like Lynch Syndrome may need to get checked earlier. Everyone should speak with their healthcare provider about when and how to get checked.
If you are 45 or older and haven’t had a colonoscopy, consider scheduling one today.
For more tips and information, visit www.cghmc.com/gi.