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Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
More than 1 in 3 adults aged 50 and older are not being screened as recommended for colorectal cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk begin regular screening at age 50. People at higher risk, such as those with a family history of colon cancer, may need to start screening earlier.
Colorectal cancer is one of only a handful of cancers for which screening is proven to save lives, both by finding and removing polyps before they turn cancerous and by finding cancers early, when treatment is most likely to be successful. During March, National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, the American Cancer Society is highlighting the need to do more to save lives from the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related death.
The Society recommends the following colorectal cancer screening tests:
Tests that detect precancerous polyps and cancer:
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years; or
- Colonoscopy every 10 years; or
- Double contrast barium enema (DCBE) every five years; or
- CT colonography (CTC) every five years.
The 80% by 2018 initiative, a shared goal to have 80 percent of adults aged 50 and older regularly screened for colorectal cancer by the year 2018, is led by the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, an organization co-founded by the Society and CDC. Nearly 200 local and national organizations have joined this initiative to eliminate colorectal cancer as a major public health problem.