Colon Cancer Facts

Colorectal cancer, or cancer of the colon or rectum, is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Each year, it claims more than 53,500 lives. An estimated 145,000 men and women will be diagnosed with colon cancer this year alone. However, colon and rectal cancer can often be prevented with proper screening. Found in its earliest stages, colon cancer is survived by almost 90 percent of patients.

Cancer Facts

What are the Symptoms?

Colon cancer symptoms can be confusing. Common stomach ailments or a change in bowel habits are common occurrences. But they don’t always mean that you have a serious condition such as colon cancer. There are several signs that should warrant concern and be evaluated by a physician.

Cancer Symptoms

When Should I Begin Screening?

If you are age 50 or older and have never been screened, start now. For those with a family history of colon cancer, talk to your doctor about how often and at what age to begin screening.  Colon cancer can occur at any age. Ask your doctor about screening if you think it is warranted.

Colon Cancer Screening

Who is at Risk?

Both men and women are equally at risk for colon cancer. The cancer is most common among people aged 50 and older but can occur in patients as young as teenagers. Over 75 percent of colon and rectal cancers happen to people with no known risk factors, which is why regular screening is so important. A personal or family history of colon cancer or colon polyps can increase the risk of developing colon cancer.

More Risk Factors

Information on these pages is provided for informational purposes only. Consult your own physician before making any medical decisions.