Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in either the colon or the rectum. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States when men and women are considered separately, and the second leading cause when both sexes are combined. It is expected to cause about 50,830 deaths during 2013.
Because of advances in screening, treatment and surgical techniques, the prognosis for survival has changed significantly in the last three decades; most of that improvement goes to early detection of the disease through screening. Polyps are being found by screening and removed before they can develop into cancers. Screening is also allowing more colorectal cancers to be found earlier when the disease is easier to cure. Also, treatment for colorectal cancer has improved over the last several years. As a result, there are now more than 1 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States!
The chances of having colorectal cancer go up after age 50, so be sure to talk with your doctor about your risk and discuss which screenings are appropriate for you. Also, remember Nurse24! This FREE, confidential nurse line gives you and your family unlimited access to a registered nurse for immediate information and advice you can trust. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call (866) 674-9103 or log on the DelaWELL Health Portal at https://delawell.alerehealth.com to chat with a nurse.