How do you screen for colorectal cancer?

When it comes to colorectal cancer, early detection with screening tests are key to diagnosing colorectal cancer. If you have colorectal polyps, it's important to remove them before they become cancerous. Early detection also means it will be easier to treat the cancer.

Screening options include a fecal occult blood test (FOBT), flexible sigmoidoscopy, double contrast barium enema, and of course, the most common screening option, the colonoscopy. Patients should ask their colorectal specialist or general physician which screening method is best for them.

How can you prevent colorectal cancer?

Getting annual colorectal screenings once you turn 50 can give you a jump on your colorectal health. There are also plenty of things you can do to put yourself in the best position including:

  • Maintaining a diet that is low in animal fat and high in fruits, veggies and fiber

  • Regular workouts and exercise

  • Cutting out cigarettes

  • Moderate alcohol consumption

  • Screening test for colorectal polyps

How common is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is actually the second most common cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. Internationally, colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cause of cancer death - which means it's a top priority for prevention. Each year, over 56,000 Americans will pass away from colorectal cancer.

More women over the age of 75 die from colorectal cancer than from breast cancer. Eighty to 90 million Americans (approximately 25 percent of the U.S. population) are considered at risk because of age or other factors. (American Cancer Society website) 

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