Colon cancer is not the easiest topic to discuss or bring up.
The American Cancer Society wants to share some of the basic facts and latest good news about this preventable, treatable, and beatable disease.
- Third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women in the U.S.
- Third leading cause of cancer death for men and women
- Almost always starts with a polyp -- a small growth on the lining of the colon or rectum
- Can be prevented by finding and removing polyps before they become cancerous
- Highly treatable when found in its early stages
- One of only two cancers that can actually be prevented through screening
- About half of all colon cancer deaths in the U.S. could be prevented each year if everyone age 50 and older got screened for the disease.
- Everyone age 50 or older talk to their doctor about getting tested and about which test is right for them, even if there is no family history of the disease.
- Never too early to talk to your family about any relatives who have had colon cancer, because one may need to start getting tested earlier.
- Get active with regular physical activity most days of the week
- Eat right by choosing vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
- Limit red and processed meat, including pork and lunch meats
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
- Quit or avoid smoking and other tobacco products
To learn more, call the American Cancer Society, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org/colon.