Many folks believe that colon cancer is rare, since it hasn’t affected us or our families. It’s a classic “it can’t happen to me” phenomenon. But, it can and it may. Although we may have been spared, all of us know someone who has been afflicted. It is not a rare condition.
Here are some facts:
- In 2018 an estimated 97,220 Americans will develop the disease, 1 in 22 males and 1 in 24 females. It’s expected to cause 50,630 deaths.
- 5 percent of U.S. adults are obese, a risk factor of colorectal cancer.
- Although overall colon cancer incidence is dropping in the U.S., young-onset colon cancer has increased over the past decade. This is frightening as we do not traditionally screen younger individuals.
- One-third of Americans ages of 50-75 are not being properly screened, putting themselves at unnecessary risk.
Because young-onset colon cancer is increasing, the American Cancer Society now recommends baseline colon screenings at age 45 instead of age 50 for average risk individuals. It is important you review the screening options with your physician.
Colonoscopy is the gold standard for screening because it’s the only test that can remove polyps at the same time preventing them for developing into cancer. If you remember nothing else, remember that colon cancer is a preventable disease. Haven’t you put off your colonoscopy long enough?
Is it time you get screened? Please contact my office to discuss. For your convenience, you may request an appointment here.