Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Every year, more than 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die from it. The risk of getting colorectal cancer increases with age. More than 90% of cases occur in people who are 50 years old or older.

If you’re age 50 or older, getting a screening test for colorectal cancer could save your life. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests also can find colorectal cancer early, when treatment often leads to a cure.

Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. That is why having a screening test is so important. Several tests are available, including colonoscopy, high-sensitivity fecal occult blood test, and flexible sigmoidoscopy. Talk with your doctor about which test or tests are best for you.

— Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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