Myth: It’s better not to get tested for colorectal cancer because it’s deadly anyway.
Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in the United States. However, it is often highly treatable. If it’s found and treated early (while it’s small and before it has spread), the 5-year relative survival rate is about 90%. Regrettably, many of us are not getting tested the way we should. Sadly, only about 4 out of 10 are diagnosed at this early stage when treatment is most likely to be successful. Starting at age 50, men and women at average risk for developing colorectal cancer should use one of the screening tests below:
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years*
- Colonoscopy every 10 years
- Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years*
- CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years*
Other ways to help lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer:
- Get to and throughout life; stay lean without being underweight.
- Be physically active; limit the time you spend sitting, lying down, watching TV, etc.
- Eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
- Choose whole grains over refined grain products.
- Limit the amount of red meat and processed meat you eat.
- If you drink alcohol, limit the amount to 1 drink per day for women, 2 per day for men.
- Don’t use tobacco in any form.
For additional information, please visit:
American Cancer Society
Special Thanks for this submission idea to Mr. Jimithy Hawkins, DC Colorectal Cancer Control Program Coordinator Cancer Programs Division, Bureau of Cancer and Chronic Disease, Community Health Administration