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Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States. But, in most cases, it can be prevented. Colon cancer can develop without any early signs. If it is caught early enough, 9 out of every 10 people can be cured. Regular screening is the best way to catch colon cancer early. These screenings are important for early detection and prevention. The American Cancer Society recommends that average-risk adults age 50 years and older undergo regular screenings.

All adults between the ages of 50 and 74 years should receive regular screenings as they are at the highest risk of developing colon cancer. People with a relative who has colon cancer have 2-3 times the risk of developing this disease, 25-30% of colorectal cancer patients have a family history of the disease.

1 in 3 people are not up to date with their colorectal cancer screening. HealthCore Clinic believes every patient deserves access to cancer screening and high-quality care, no matter their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion, or socioeconomic status. There are affordable, take-home options that make screening easy. Getting tested today could save your life.

Contact us today to schedule a colorectal cancer screening test if you are over the age of 50 or have a history of gastrointestinal problems or disease symptoms.

What is a colorectal cancer screening?

A screening test is used to look for a disease when a person doesn’t have gastrointestinal symptoms. (When a person has symptoms, diagnostic tests are used to find out the cause of the symptoms.)

Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early when treatment works best.

There are two main types of colorectal cancer screening tests: Stool-Based and a Visual/Structural Exam.

Stool-Based Test

The multitarget stool DNA testing for colorectal cancer screening checks the stool (feces) for signs of cancer. These tests are less invasive and easier to have done, but they need to be done more often. These tests can be done in the privacy and convenience of your own home.

Visual/Structural Exam

These tests are performed by a medical specialist and look at the structure of the colon and rectum for any abnormal areas. This is done either with a scope (a tube-like instrument with a light and tiny video camera on the end) put into the rectum, or with special imaging (x-ray) tests.

When should you start screening for colorectal cancer?

Most people should begin screening for colorectal cancer soon after turning 50, then continue getting screened at regular intervals. However, you may need to be tested earlier than 50, or more often than other people, if…

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

Colon cancer can develop without any early signs, however, if it is caught early enough, 9 out of every 10 people can be cured. Being aware of the symptoms of colorectal cancer and understanding risks can help prevent this cancer from happening to you, or help you catch it as early as possible. Some of the early stages of colorectal cancer may not show any signs — this is why colorectal cancer screening is so important. If you have any signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer, do not ignore them, tell your doctor right away. Colon cancer symptoms and rectal cancer symptoms are very similar and can overlap. If you experience any of the following colorectal cancer symptoms, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

It’s not uncommon for individuals diagnosed in the early stages (stage I or II) to not experience any colorectal cancer symptoms. Symptoms of early-stage colorectal cancer are not always obvious or visible. Oftentimes it’s only when colorectal cancer has grown into late-stage cancer or spread that symptoms appear. That is why it is so important to schedule your colorectal cancer screening test now.

Colorectal cancer risk factors

A risk factor is anything that raises your chance of getting a disease. Some risk factors, like smoking, can be changed. Others, like a person’s age or family history, can’t be changed. It is important to note that having a risk factor, or even many risk factors, does not mean that you will get colorectal cancer. It is also important to note that some people who get the disease may not have any known risk factors. Researchers have found several risk factors that may increase a person’s chance of developing colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.

Shonnetta Gabriel

Hear what Shonnetta Gabriel, MSW, LAC has to say about working at HealthCore Clinic. Shonetta is the Director of Behavioral Health at HealthCore Clinic.

She shares her journey from intern to director as one of HealthCore’s longest-serving employees.

Colorectal cancer treatment

If you have colorectal cancer, the treatments most likely to help you will depend on your particular situation, including the location of your cancer, its stage, and other health concerns. Treatment for colon cancer usually involves surgery to remove the cancer. Other treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, might also be recommended.

Colorectal cancer diet & nutrition

Nutrition can play a very important part in your treatment when you are diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Eating a well-balanced diet before, during, and after cancer treatment can help you feel better, maintain your strength, and shorten your recovery time. Here are some colorectal cancer nutrition tips:

Black Americans are at higher risk for colorectal cancer

Colorectal Cancer Facts

Many colorectal cancers can be prevented through regular colorectal cancer screening. Screening can find precancerous polyps—abnormal growths in the colon or rectum—so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening is important because when found early, colorectal cancer is highly treatable. Don’t wait, schedule your colorectal cancer screening today.