COLON Cancer facts and information
Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States.
- 120 million people are living with colon cancer today
- Nearly 135,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year
- It will take the lives of 49,000 people this year alone
The number of new colorectal cancer cases and the number of deaths are both decreasing each year. However, in adults younger than 50 years, the number of new colorectal cancer cases has slowly increased since 1998.
Finding and treating colorectal cancer early, when treatment is most effective, may prevent death. Regular screening, beginning at age 50, is imperative.
1 in 20
Number who will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer at some point in their lifetime
50 and older
The ages at which 90% of new colorectal cancer cases occur
The risk of dying from colorectal cancer for black Americans compared to whites
The five-year relative survival rate for colorectal cancer when the disease is diagnosed at an early stage
The percentage of patients diagnosed at an early stage, when colorectal cancer is more easily treatable
Signs and Symptoms
- A change in bowel habits, including diarrhea/constipation/change in the consistency of stool
- Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
- Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
- A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely
- Weakness or fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. When symptoms do appear, they vary depending on the cancer's size and location in your large intestine.
Please see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms
The best way to prevent colon cancer is to get screened. There are four tests used to screen for colorectal cancer:
- Fecal occult blood test checks the stool (solid waste) for blood that can only be seen with a microscope. Blood in the stool may be a sign of polyps or cancer.
- Sigmoidoscopy looks inside the rectum and sigmoid (lower) colon for polyps, abnormal areas, or cancer.
- Barium enema preps for a series of x-rays of the lower gastrointestinal tract.
- Colonoscopy looks inside the rectum and colon for polyps, abnormal areas, or cancer.
Talk with your doctor about the best option for you.
General information about colon cancer, treatment, support groups, etc: http://www.uofmmedicalcenter.org/Specialties/Coloncancer/
This site will enhance your knowledge on screen options: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/screening/colorectal/Patient/page3
Great source for information on chemotherapy drugs and their side effects: www.chemocare.com