Colorectal cancer occurs in the colon or rectum. The colon is the large intestine or large bowel and the rectum is the passageway connecting the colon to the anus.
Who gets colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer occurs most often in people age 50 or older. The risk increases with age. Both men and women can get colorectal cancer. If you are 50 or older, talk to your doctor about getting screened.
Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the U.S.?
Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the U.S. However, if everyone age 50 or older had regular screening colonoscopies, at least 60 percent of deaths from this cancer would be avoided.
Am I at a high risk?
Your risk for colorectal cancer may be higher than average if:
- You or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.
- You have inflammatory bowel disease.
- You have a genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer.
If you think you’re at a higher risk for colorectal cancer, speak with your doctor about having earlier or more frequent screenings.
What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?
People who have polyps or colorectal cancer don’t always have symptoms, especially at first. Essentially, you could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it, which is another reason why screenings are so important. However, if there are symptoms, they may include:
- Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement).
- Stomachaches, pains or cramps that don’t go away.
- Unexplained weight loss.
If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. These symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer; however, the only
way to know is to see your doctor.
Screening Saves Lives
If you’re 50 or older, here’s how getting a colorectal cancer screening could save your life.
- Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum. A polyp is a growth that shouldn’t be there. Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer.
- Screenings can find polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.
- Screenings can also find colorectal cancer early, when the chance of being cured is high.
Many insurance plans and Medicare help pay for colorectal cancer screenings. Check with your plan to find out which screenings are covered for you.
Woman’s is dedicated solely to the needs of women and we recognize your desire for privacy. That’s why we offer each colonoscopy patient a private room before and after her screening—a feature you’ll find at no other hospital or clinic in Baton Rouge.