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On your March, Get Set, Get Screened!

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On your March, Get Set, Get Screened!

01 Mar 2019 by Ted Escobedo

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer diagnosed and the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States, but it doesn't have to be. Colorectal cancer screening saves lives. The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to get screened regularly starting at age 50. However, recent studies suggest that people, especially those in higher-risk ethnic groups, benefit from earlier screening.

Colorectal cancer is signific­­antly higher among minorities, and African Americans have higher mortality rates and higher incidence rates of colorectal cancer than all other racial or ethnic groups, except American Indians and Alaska Natives. Colorectal cancer is also the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among Latinos, and fewer than 40 percent of American Indian and Native Hawaiian adults have ever been screened for colorectal cancer. Data from the NCCRT shows that one in three adults ages 50 to 75 is not getting screened as recommended

According to the National Cancer Institute, the number of new colorectal cancer cases and the number of deaths from colorectal cancer are decreasing a little bit each year in adults aged 55 years and older. But in adults younger than 55 years, there has been an increase in the number of new cases and deaths from colorectal cancer in recent years.

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When Should I Begin to Get Screened?

You should begin screening for colorectal cancer soon after turning 50, then continue getting screened at regular intervals. However, you may need to be tested earlier than 50, or more often than other people, if—

If you think you are at increased risk for colorectal cancer, speak with your doctor about—

  • When to begin screening.
  • Which test is right for you.
  • How often to get tested.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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