Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it is possible to prevent it! Colorectal cancer occurs in the colon or rectum. It is also often called colon cancer. Colorectal cancer occurs in both men and women of all racial and ethnic groups. It is most common in those 50 years of age and older.
Colorectal cancer and pre-cancerous polyps do not always cause symptoms, especially early on. Some symptoms that may occur are:
Blood in or on stool
Stomach pains or cramps
Unexplained weight loss
Once these symptoms are experienced, the cancer may have progressed to a later stage. This is why screening tests are so important.
Colonoscopies are the most common screening tests for colorectal cancer. They are not, however, the only tests available. Which test you choose and when and how often to be screened depends on many factors including:
Family history or predisposition for colorectal cancer