Mark your calendar to confront the risk of colorectal cancer: National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month shines light on deadly disease
Ugh. Just saying it is enough to make you wince.
But avoiding the subject of colorectal cancer – and colonoscopies – is potentially hazardous to our health. In 2023, an estimated 153,000 people will be diagnosed with this highly preventable disease – joining more than 1.4 million colorectal cancer patients and survivors living today.
So, it’s not surprising that March has been designated as national Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. And here’s some good news: When detected early, colorectal cancer is very survivable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the U.S. Sometimes abnormal growths, called polyps, form in the colon or rectum.
The death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping in both men and women for several decades. There are a number of likely reasons for this, including that colorectal polyps are now being found more often by colonoscopies and removed before these can develop into cancers. Screening through coloscopies also results in many colorectal cancers being found earlier, when they are likely to be easier to treat. In addition, treatments for colorectal cancer have improved over the last few decades, as have the preparation procedures.
The American Cancer Society estimates the number of colorectal cancers in the United States for 2023 will be:
- 106,970 new cases of colon cancer
- 46,050 new cases of rectal cancer
It’s expected to cause about 52,550 deaths during 2023.
Experts recommend adults aged 45 and over should get a colonoscopy screening every 10 years.
The practitioners at the Centers for Gastroenterology encourage everyone over 45 to “mark their calendar” and schedule a colonoscopy. CFG serves patients throughout Northern Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska. Visit digestive-health.net/ to learn more or schedule an appointment in Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland or Steamboat Springs.