Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the colon or rectum, it is called colorectal cancer. Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short.
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The goal of this national health observance is to increase awareness that colorectal cancer is largely preventable, treatable, and beatable.
Colorectal cancer affects both men and women of all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people aged 45 years or older. The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age. According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 23 men and 1 in 24 women will develop this cancer at some point in their lives. Current estimates for the number of colorectal cancers in the US for 2023 are 106,970 new cases of colon cancer and 46,050 new cases of rectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be. Colorectal cancer screening saves lives. Screening can find PREcancerous polyps—abnormal growths in the colon or rectum—that can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage when treatment works best. About nine out of every 10 people whose colorectal cancers are found early and treated appropriately are still alive five years later.
If you are 45 years old or older, get screened now. If you think you may be at increased risk for colorectal cancer, speak with your doctor about when to begin screening, which test is right for you, and how often to get tested.
If you need to make a screening appointment contact the Racine Community Health Center at 262-800-7242 today!