Why is Colorectal Cancer Screening Important?
Colorectal cancer screening saves lives. However, 1 out of 3 people are not screened. About 9 out of 10 people diagnosed with colorectal cancer will survive when it is found early. The purpose of screening is to find cancer early, before symptoms develop.
Colorectal Cancer in the United States*:
- About 1 in 20 people will develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime
- Only 4 out of 10 people are diagnosed at an early stage
- #4 cancer
- #2 cause of death from cancer
- 43% of new colorectal cancers are from the ‘unscreened’
- 70% of colorectal cancer deaths are from people who have never been screened or not up-to-date
Who should be screened for Colorectal Cancer?
It is recommended that all people of “average-risk” should start screening at age 50. Average-risk means that you don’t have family history of colorectal cancer, certain genetic disorders, or symptoms of colorectal cancer. This risk increases as you age. If you have risk factors for colorectal cancer, you should talk to your healthcare provider about what screening plan is right for you.
What Screening Test is Right For You?
There many types of screening tests recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines. These tests include:
- Colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy
- CT colonography
- Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)
- Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)
- Stool DNA
- Methylated SEPT9 DNA (Blood Test)
It might be hard to decide what test you should have. Before choosing, you should understand the benefits and risks for each test. Talk to your healthcare provider about which test would be best for you.