Colorectal cancer (cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum—this part of the digestive system) is the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates 93,090 new cases of colon cancer and 39,610 new cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed in 2015.
While there’s been a decline in colon cancer of the last several years due to early detection and prevention there’s still a disparity that exists.
According The American Cancer Society report, “Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures 2014-2016,” colorectal cancer rates are highest in African-American men and women and lowest in Asian/Pacific Islander (API) men and women. In 2006-2010, colon cancer incident rates are about 25% higher in African-Americans than Caucasians. “A larger disparity exists for colorectal cancer mortality, for which rates in African-Americans are about 50% higher than in Caucasians and double those in APIs.”
If you are over the age of 50 it is important to receive colorectal screening. Screenings for colon cancer helps with early detection and allow for early treatments. It is also important to keep a look of the various risk factors.
Below is a list of several risk factors of colon cancer:
- Family history of colon cancer: Those that have a family history of colon cancer are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop the disease than to individuals that have no family history of colon cancer.
- Lack of physical activity: Physically active people have a 25% lower risk of colon cancer than inactive people.
- Overweight and obesity
- Unhealthy Diet: Individuals that consume higher fruit and vegetable, fiber, and dairy are at lower risk.
For a list of ways to help prevent colon cancer, please visit: http://www.ccalliance.org/screening/index.html
Interested in screening? Talk to your doctor about getting a screening test or visit: www.ccalliance.org to find a surgeon or screening facility near you.
Image credit: iStock Photo, contributed by macgyverhh