CDC’s Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign informs men and women aged 50 years and older about the importance of having regular colorectal cancer screening tests.
Screening tests help find precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) so they can be removed before they have a chance to turn into cancer. This prevents colorectal cancer. Screening also can find this cancer early, when treatment is most effective. However, about one-third of adults aged 50 or older (about 22 million people)—the age group at greatest risk of developing colorectal cancer—have not been screened as recommended.
Your risk of getting colorectal cancer increases as you get older. More than 90% of cases occur in people who are 50 years old or older. Other risk factors include having—
- Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
- A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps.
- A genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).
Lifestyle factors that may contribute to an increased risk of colorectal cancer include—
- Lack of regular physical activity.
- A diet low in fruit and vegetables.
- A low-fiber and high-fat diet, or a diet high in processed meats.
- Overweight and obesity.
- Alcohol consumption.
- Tobacco use.
What Should I Know About Screening? Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/screening/
Questions to Ask Your Doctor - Several screening tests can be used to find polyps or colorectal cancer. The benefits and risks of these screening methods vary. Discuss with your doctor which test is best for you. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/screening/questions.htm
What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Colorectal Cancer? The most effective way to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer is by having regular colorectal cancer screening tests beginning at age 50. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/prevention.htm
What Are the Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer? Colorectal cancer doesn't always cause symptoms, especially at first. See a list of possible symptoms. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/symptoms.htm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention –