(Bethesda, MD, Friday, March 1, 2019)  March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is the number two cancer killer in the United States, and is one of the most preventable types of cancer, yet too few Americans are being screened.

The lifetime risk of colorectal cancer in the United States is one in in twenty-three for men and one in twenty-five for women.

There will be over 145,000 new diagnoses of colorectal cancer in 2019 year in the United States.

Of the more than 51,000 people expected to die of colorectal cancer this year, screening could save more than half of them.

Physicians from the American College of Gastroenterology recommend colonoscopy as the preferred colorectal cancer prevention test.

Removing precancerous polyps through colonoscopy can not only reduce the risk of colorectal cancer but also reduce the number of deaths from the disease by 53%, according to the National Polyp Study.

ACG recommends colonoscopy every ten years for average risk individuals beginning at age fifty. Forty-five is the age ACG recommends for African Americans to start screening for colorectal cancer.

African Americans have the highest incidence of colorectal cancer and highest mortality rate of any racial or ethnic group, according to the American Cancer Society.

For more information, visit gi.org/ColonCancer.

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