March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March 7, 2018

There Will Be Over 140,000 New Diagnoses of Colorectal Cancer in 2018 in the United States

Irving Pike, MD, FACG, President, American College of Gastroenterology, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, John Muir Health, Contra Costa County, CA

(Bethesda, MD, Wednesday, March 7, 2018) March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.  Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers and yet too few Americans are being screened.

Sadly, public health research suggests that many of the unscreened know about colonoscopy and know they should get screened, yet put off screening out of fear and rationalize their avoidance.

Colorectal cancer is the number 2 cancer killer in the United States.

The American College of Gastroenterology has advice for listeners to overcome obstacles to screening and take action to improve their health. Experts can debunk myths and misconceptions, address fears, and inspire patients to get lifesaving tests.

  • The American College of Gastroenterology is a non-profit group of physicians committed to improving digestive health and preventing colorectal cancer.
  • Colorectal cancer can be prevented—not just detected—through colonoscopy.  ACG’s experts recommend colonoscopy as the preferred colorectal cancer prevention test.
  • The lifetime risk of colorectal cancer in the United States is 1 in 22 for men and 1 in 24 for women. 
  • There will be over 140,000 new diagnoses of colorectal cancer in 2018 year in the United States.
  • Of the more than 50,000 people expected to die of colorectal cancer this year, screening could save more than 1/2 of them.
  • Regular screening for, and removal of, polyps reduces the risk of developing colorectal cancer – by up to 90 percent with colonoscopy. 
  • ACG recommends colonoscopy every 10 years for average risk individuals beginning at age 50. Forty-five is the age ACG recommends for African Americans to start screening for colorectal cancer.  

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