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About Colorectal Cancer
The American Cancer Society tells us 1
  • Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer — not counting skin cancers — found in men and women. 
  • Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of death among cancers that affect U.S. adults of both sexes.
  • The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is: about 1 in 21 for men and 1 in 23 for women. 
Estimates for 2016  2
  • 410 new cases of colorectal cancer to be diagnosed in South Dakota 
  • 135,430 new cases of colorectal cancer to be diagnosed in the United States 
  • 160 deaths due to colorectal cancer to occur in South Dakota 
  • 50,260 deaths due to colorectal cancer to occur in the United States 
Early detection can save your life.
Colorectal cancer screening can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. In this way, colorectal cancer is prevented. Screening can also find colorectal cancer early, when there is a greater chance that treatment will be most effective and lead to a cure. (3)
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends colorectal cancer screening for men and women aged 50-75 using 
  • High-sensitivity fecal occult blood testing (FOBT): a simple, non-invasive test that can be completed in your own home. The test detects tiny amounts of blood, often released from bowel cancers or their precursors (polyps or adenomas). Recommended once a year.
  • Sigmoidoscopy: The doctor uses a short, thin, flexible, lighted tube that is inserted into your rectum. The doctor checks for polyps or cancer inside the rectum and lower third of the colon.  Recommended every 5 years or every 3 years with FIT.
  • Colonoscopy: This is similar to flexible sigmoidoscopy, except the doctor uses a longer, thin, flexible, lighted tube to check for polyps or cancer inside the rectum and the entire colon. During the test, the doctor can find and remove most polyps and some cancers. Colonoscopy also is used as a follow-up test if anything unusual is found during one of the other screening tests. Recommended every 10 years.
  • FIT-DNA (Cologuard): Combines the FIT with a test that detects altered DNA in the stool. For this test, you collect an entire bowel movement and send it to the lab to be checked for cancer cells. Recommended every 3 years. 
  • CT Colonoscopy: Also called a virtual colonoscopy, uses X-rays and computers to produce images of the entire colon, which are displayed on a computer screen for the doctor to analyze. Recommended every 5 years.
  1. American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Colorectal Cancer 
  2. Cancer Facts & Figures 2017
  3. Colorectal Cancer Prevention