Blog

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

  • March 15, 2019

Blog Topic: Colorectal Cancer Screening

 

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease. One of every four deaths in the United States is due to cancer. Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer. Colorectal cancer affects all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people ages 50 and older. In 2015, the latest year for which incidence data are available, 140,788 new cases of Colon and Rectum cancer were reportedand 52,396 people died of Colon and Rectum cancer in the United States. For every 100,000 people, 38 new Colon and Rectum cancer cases were reported and 14 died of cancer.

 

The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to get screened regularly starting at age 50. There are often no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer – that’s why it’s so important to get screened.

To increase awareness about the importance of colorectal cancer screening, [Whittier Street Health Center is proudly participating in Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. In 2015, the latest year for which incidence data are available, 140,788 new cases of Colon and Rectum cancer were reported, and 52,396 people died of Colon and Rectum cancer in the United States. For every 100,000 people, 38 new Colon and Rectum cancer cases were reported and 14 died of cancer.

 

People over age 50 have the highest risk of colorectal cancer. You may also be at higher risk if you are:

  • African American
  • Smoke
  • Have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease: Crohn’s or Ulcerative colitis
  • Have a family history of colorectal cancer
  • Lifestyle factors such as lack of physical activity, alcohol consumption, tobacco use, amongst others

 

The different types of Colorectal Cancer screenings are as follows:

  1. High-sensitivity fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) – There are two types of FOBT: guaiac and fecal immunochemical and should be performed every 1 to 2 years, as directed by your primary care provider.
  2. Stool DNA test (FIT-DNA) – This is the only stool DNA test approved by the FDA and should be annually. People who have a positive findings are advised to have a colonoscopy.
  3. Sigmoidoscopy – In this test the examination is done with a flexible lighted tube. Sigmoidoscopy should be done once every 5 years with or without FOBT or FIT, or every 3 years for patients at average risk who have had negative test results.
  4. Standard Colonoscopy – This test is done with a flexible lighted tube with a tool to remove tissue. Colonoscopy should be done every 10 years for people at average risk as long as their test results are negative.

 

Everyone can take these healthy steps to help prevent colorectal cancer:

  • Discuss with your provider and get screened starting at age 50
  • Encourage your family members and friends over age 50 to get screened
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke
  • Get plenty of physical activity and eat healthy

 

For more information, visit www.wshc.org