States. And yet, this need not be the case. Studies show if everyone age 50
or older had regular screening tests, at least one-third of deaths from this
cancer could be avoided.
To better inform the public about this deadly disease the staff of the
Henry and Stark County Health Department offers the following facts on
Colorectal Cancer. Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or
rectum. Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short.
Who gets Colorectal Cancer? Both men and women can get colorectal
cancer. Colorectal cancer is most often found in people 50 and older.
Therefore, the risk of getting colorectal cancer increases with age.
Are you at High Risk? Your risk of colorectal cancer may be higher than
average if: You or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or
colorectal cancer. You have inflammatory bowel disease. People at high
risk for colorectal cancer may need earlier or more frequent tests than
other people. Talk with your doctor about when you should begin screening
and how often you should be tested.
If you're 50 or older, getting a screening test for colorectal cancer
could save your life. Here's how:
* Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum. A
polyp is a growth that shouldn't be there.
* Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer.
* Screening tests can find polyps, so they can be removed before they turn
* Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early. When it is found
early, the chance of being cured is good.
People who have polyps or colorectal cancer sometimes don't have
symptoms, especially at first. This means that someone could have polyps or
colorectal cancer and not know it. That is why having a screening test is
Some people with colorectal polyps or cancer do have symptoms. They
* Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement).
* Pain, aches, or cramps in your stomach that happen a lot and you don't
* A change in bowel habits, such as having stools that are narrower than
* Losing weight and you don't know why.
If you have any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor or healthcare
provider. These symptoms may also be caused by something other than cancer.
However, the only way to know what is causing them is to see your doctor.