The need for colorectal surgery is growing as the population ages. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, behind lung and breast cancer. Approximately 52,000 people die annually from colon cancer in the U.S. While the number of new colon cancer cases is steadily declining, thanks in part to more screening, there still are more than 165,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum. It is equally common in men and women. An estimated 148,810 people will be diagnosed this year, and an estimated 49,960 people will die from the disease. With early detection it is also one of the most preventable cancers because it develops from polyps that can be removed before they become cancerous. It's important to know your risk and get a colonoscopy screening.
Screening is crucial to prevent colon cancer or eliminate it in the earliest stages. Despite more education about the importance of colonoscopies, less than half of the U.S. population eligible for screenings will be screened this year. This statistic is particularly unfortunate because the cure rate for colorectal cancers is about 70 percent, much higher than the rate for many types of cancer.
Early detection of colorectal cancer saved this couple's lives. View this video featuring Winifred and John Lykes.
Know your Risk
- Men and women age 50 and older
- People who use tobacco, are obese and are sedentary
- People with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or benign (not cancerous) colorectal polyps
- People with a personal or family history of inflammatory bowel disease, such as long-standing ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease
- People with a family history of inherited colorectal cancer