Know These Five Important Facts About Colorectal Cancer


Your colon, which makes up the extended section of the large intestine, plays an essential role in your digestive health and wellness. As the remains of food move through the body by way of the colon, the last lingering nutrients and liquids are absorbed, and the waste is then forced out through the rectum. Cancer that develops in the colon or rectum is frequently referred to as colorectal cancer.

The American Cancer Society estimates that roughly 150,000 new occurrences of colon and rectal cancer are diagnosed each year. Fortunately, colon and rectal cancer can be easily detected through a routine colonoscopy and, when discovered early, the chances of overcoming it are quite favorable. To find a colonoscopy doctor near you and book a colorectal cancer screening, please contact our team at Colorado Gastroenterology in Denver, CO.

With March being Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Colorado Gastroenterology aims to provide you with key facts surrounding colon and rectal cancer to help keep you and your family healthy. Read on to learn five important points to know about colorectal cancer.

#1: Colon and rectal cancer is the second most reason for cancer-related deaths in adults.

Colon and rectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women and men together. The American Cancer Society theorizes that around 52,000 patients will pass away from colorectal cancer this year. Because of regular colonoscopies and colon cancer awareness all across the country, colorectal cancer deaths have been on the decline. Sadly, it is estimated that about one-third of American adults are not current on their routine colonoscopy procedures.

#2: Colon and rectal cancer rates impact men and women equally.

The American Cancer Society estimates that about 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women could develop colorectal cancer sometime in the course of their lifespan. This means that gender is not a colon and rectal cancer element of risk; women and men have a relatively equal chance of developing the disease. The risk factors for colorectal cancer are:

  • Being overweight

  • Cigarette smoking

  • A family history of colon or rectal cancer

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Being older than 45

  • Excessive alcohol use

#3: There could be no warning signs of colon or rectal cancer.

According to the Colon Cancer Coalition, six out of every 10 individuals determined to have colon cancer are diagnosed with highly progressed cancer, most likely because they did not get a test until there were signals of a threat. Those in the initial stage of colon cancer will probably show no outward indications of the cancer, and when colon cancer does display signs, it is commonly late-stage. If you are showing signals of colon cancer, they are likely to include:

  • Inexplicable weight reduction

  • Fatigue

  • An alteration in bowel habits, such as long-term constipation or chronic diarrhea

  • Abdominal distress or pain

  • Rectal bleeding

If you or a family member notices any of these colon and rectal cancer symptoms, get in touch with a GI physician in Denver, CO and set up a colonoscopy as soon as possible. You can connect with a GI specialist by contacting our team at Colorado Gastroenterology.

#4: When detected ahead of time, colon and rectal cancer is highly treatable.

Colon and rectal polyps can take around 10 – 15 years to progress into cancer. Precancerous growths can be removed long before they begin to pose a problem, which makes colorectal cancer immensely avoidable in comparison with other cancers. Men and women diagnosed with early-stage, localized colon cancer have a considerably better prognosis than men and women whose colon or rectal cancer has spread. The five-year survival rate for localized colorectal cancer is roughly 90%. When diagnosed late, the five-year survival rate decreases to less than 10%. Please do not hesitate to be screened.

#5: You should begin having routine colorectal cancer screenings at age 45.

If you carry an average risk for colon and rectal cancer, then the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends you obtain your first routine colonoscopy around 45 years old and then once every ten years if no irregularities are found. Men and women with a higher risk of colon and rectal cancer should receive routine colonoscopies about every 3 – 5 years or as advised by a GI specialist. Although several home test alternatives for colon and rectal cancer testing have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, colonoscopy procedures remain the gold standard for the discovery and prevention of colon cancer.

Visit a GI specialist in Denver, CO

If you are due for your colorectal cancer screening, Colorado Gastroenterology can help. Our team of experienced GI doctors will place your care, comfort, and needs first. Patients facing colon and rectal cancer and various digestive conditions can count on our physician-led system of gastroenterologists in Denver, CO. To learn more about the battle against colorectal cancer and how to get a colonoscopy, contact Colorado Gastroenterology today.