(Bethesda, MD, Tuesday, March 10, 2020) – March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is the number 2 cancer killer in the United States yet is one of the most preventable cancers.

Fear and avoidance of colorectal cancer screening tests means that powerful prevention strategies are being underused in the United States, and too many people are developing colorectal cancer and dying when it can be prevented.

There will be 148,000 new diagnoses of colorectal cancer in the United States in 2020, and more than 53,000 people are expected to die of colorectal cancer this year.

Removing precancerous growths known as polyps during colonoscopy is the cornerstone of colorectal cancer prevention.

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.

Colorectal cancer can be prevented—not just detected—through colonoscopy. ACG’s experts recommend colonoscopy as the preferred colorectal cancer prevention test.

ACG recommends colonoscopy every 10 years for average risk individuals beginning at age 50. ACG recommends African Americans start screening at age 45 for colorectal cancer.

Colonoscopy with removal of precancerous colon polyps reduces the incidence of and mortality from colorectal cancer. It is the cornerstone of effective prevention.

For more information, visit gi.org/ColonCancer.

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