Approximately 135,430 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancers in 2017 and an estimated 50,260 will die.1
Get the Facts about Hereditary Colon Cancer?
Only men get colon cancer.
Colon cancer is almost as common in men as in women. The lifetime risk of developing colon cancer is 1 in 21 for men and 1 in 23 for women.1 Your age, not your gender, is the most important risk factor for colon cancer. Women and men without a family history of colon cancer should begin screening for colon cancer starting at age 50.4
You don’t need to get screened for colon cancer if you have regular bowl movements and no symptoms.
Often there are no symptoms to alert someone that they may have colon cancer. When there are symptoms, the cancer is usually already at an advanced stage. Symptoms of colon cancer may include blood in the stool, unexplained abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, and unexplained anemia or weight loss.1
Colon can cannot be prevented.
Colon cancer usually starts with a small growth called a polyp. If the polyp is found early, it can be removed before it becomes cancerous. Over 60% of colon cancer deaths could be avoided through colon cancer screening techniques such as regular colonoscopies.2
Once you are diagnosed with colon cancer, it is too late to doing anything about it.
Colon cancer is highly treatable if found and treated early. The 5-year survival rate for people with Stage I colon cancer is approximately 90% as opposed to the survival rate for Stage IV colon cancer which is approximately 11%. Unfortunately, because many people are not following current screening guidelines, only approximately 4 out of 10 colon cancers are diagnosed at an earlier stage.4
Are You at Risk for Hereditary Colon Cancer
Individuals with certain genetic mutations have an increased risk of up to 99%5 of developing colon cancer by age 80, compared to the general population’s risk of less than 5% in their lifetime.6
You are more likely to develop colon cancer if you have a parent, sibling or child with the disease. If more than one family member has colon cancer, your risk is even greater.1
To determine whether you should be further evaluated for Hereditary Cancer
- Provenzale D, et al. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology® Colorectal Cancer Screening. V 2.2016. October 20. Available at http://www.nccn.org.
- U.S Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA Website: http://www.hrsa.gov/quality/toolbox/measures/colorectalcancer/. Accessed January 9, 2017.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Website: http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/colorectalcancerscreening/index.html. Accessed January 9, 2017.
- American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. ASGE Website: http://www.screenforcoloncancer.org/myths.asp. Accessed January 9, 2017.
- Giardiello FM, Brensinger JD, Petersen GM. AGA technical review on hereditary colorectal cancer and genetic testing. Gastroenterology. 2001;121:198-213
- National Cancer Institute. NIH Website: http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/colorect.html. Accessed January 9, 2017.