Talk to Your Loved Ones

Why be concerned about colon cancer? It's the second leading cancer-related killer in the U.S. among men and women combined. So let’s talk about it!

Colon cancer is the most preventable and beatable cancer if detected early. That’s why we need to encourage everyone age 50 or older to get screened.

View a 30-second video on how family history affects your risk
of developing colon cancer.

Let’s Talk About Risk Factors

If you can answer yes to any of the following, you are at risk of developing colon cancer:

  • Are you aged 50 or older?
  • Do you eat a high fat, low fiber diet?
  • Are you a smoker?
  • Do you consume alcohol excessively?
  • Are you physically inactive?
  • Are you obese?
  • Do you have a family history of colon cancer, particularly a parent, child or sibling with the disease?
  • Do you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)?

Let’s Talk About Symptoms

During the early stages of colon cancer there are no symptoms. As the disease progresses the following symptoms may occur:

  • A change in your bowel movements
  • Blood (either bright red or very dark) in your stool (feces)
  • Diarrhea, constipation or feeling that your bowel does not empty completely
  • Stools that are narrower than usual
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting

Let’s Talk About the Facts

Here are some facts about colon cancer:

  • The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20 (5%).*
  • It is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for U.S. men and women combined.*
  • Recent statistics estimate 142,000 new cases of colorectal cancers will be diagnosed annually, with the disease claiming more than 50,000 American lives each year.*
  • Colon cancer often has no symptom at all until it is at an advanced stage.
  • You can reduce your risk of developing colon cancer through regular screening.
  • Beginning at age 50 (or earlier if you have a family history), everyone should be screened for colon cancer.

* “What are the key statistics about colorectal cancer?” American Cancer Society. 20 Jul 2013. Web. 18 Sep 2013.

Colon cancer is preventable and easier to treat when detected early. Talk with your healthcare provider about what kind of screening test is right for you.