Colorectal Cancer and Screening
In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer mortality. In 2018, approximately 150,000 new cases were diagnosed and roughly 50,000 individuals passed away from colorectal cancer. Fortunately, colorectal cancer is a preventable disease as it arises from precancerous lesions commonly referred to as polyps. Polyps can develop into cancer over time (10-20 years). Roughly 25% of individuals over the age of 50 have polyps.
Fortunately, colorectal cancer develops slowly, typically over a period of 10 to 20 years. In many cases, screening tests can detect and prevent cancer. A screening test is a test performed as a preventive measure to detect a disease in an individual before disease is obvious.
Colorectal cancer screening is an effective way to detect both precancerous polyps and cancer. The current recommended age at which the average risk individual (those without family history of colon cancer and without predisposing conditions) should begin colon cancer screening is 45.
At Eisenhower Health, we provide a variety of colorectal cancer screening tests that are further explained on our colon cancer screening page. After reviewing the information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your primary care physician to discuss further and choose which screening test is best suited for you.
- Adults at average risk of developing colorectal cancer should begin screening at age 45.
- Individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer may need to start screening at an earlier age. Please discuss this with your health care provider.