31 facts about colorectal cancer you need to know

March 15, 2016 | by City of Hope

Did you know that about one in 20 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer over the course of his or her lifetime? Or that it's the second-leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.? 

More important, did you know that colorectal cancer is actually highly treatable — and curable — if detected early on? More than 90 percent of patients who are diagnosed early, when the cancer is still confined to the colon or rectum, survive more than five years. Today, there are more than 1 million colon cancer survivors in the U.S. 

While survival rates are improving, due in large part to increased screening, far too many people are still unaware of the basics: Who is most at risk, potential warning signs, and steps to prevent, detect and treat this disease.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and a good time to brush up on the facts surrounding the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the country.

Here are five more facts you may not have known:  

  1. More than half of those diagnosed with colorectal cancer do not have a family history of the disease.
     
  2. Precancerous polyps and early-stage colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. This means that someone could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it.
     
  3. More and more people are surviving colorectal cancer through better treatments and increased screening, so getting screened – actually a very simple procedure – is crucial. 
     
  4. Certain lifestyle factors increase the risk of developing colon cancer. These include: consuming a high-fat diet, lack of exercise, obesity, cigarette smoking and heavy alcohol consumption. 
     
  5. Age is just a number. One in 10 people diagnosed with colorectal cancer is under age 50. 

 

Learn more about various screening options, risk factors and prevention tips in our 31 Facts on Colorectal Cancer.  Simply fill out your name and email to download the PDF. 

 

 

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