How many people get colorectal cancer?
Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for the number of colorectal cancer cases in the United States for 2018 will be 97,220 new cases of colon cancer and 43,030 new cases of rectal cancer.
That sounds scary!
Those are some scary numbers! There is good news however; with regular screening, colon cancer can be found early, when treatment is most effective. In many cases, screening can prevent colon cancer by finding and removing polyps before they become cancer. And if cancer is present, earlier detection means a chance at a longer life.
How do you get colorectal cancer?
Colon cancer is a very slow growing cancer. Colorectal cancers begin as a growth called a polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Some types of polyps can change into cancer over the course of several years, but not all polyps become cancer. The chance of changing into a cancer depends on the kind of polyp. The 2 main types of polyps are:
- Adenomatous polyps (adenomas): These polyps sometimes change into cancer. Because of this, adenomas are called a pre-cancerous condition.
- Hyperplastic polyps and inflammatory polyps: These polyps are more common, but in general they are not pre-cancerous.
How do we screen for these polyps and prevent colorectal cancer?
The colonoscopy is the gold standard in colorectal screening. For this test, the doctor looks at the entire length of the colon and rectum with a colonoscope, a thin, flexible, lighted tube with a small video camera on the end. It’s put in through the anus and into the rectum and colon. Special instruments can be passed through the colonoscope to biopsy (sample) or remove any suspicious-looking areas such as polyps, if needed.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month!
In February 2000, President Clinton officially dedicated March as “National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.” Since then, it has grown to be a rallying point for the colon cancer community where thousands of patients, survivors, caregivers and advocates throughout the country join together to spread colorectal awareness. This family of thousands helps raise awareness by wearing blue, holding fundraising and educational events, talking to friends & family about screening, and so much more. We at Hunterdon Gastroenterology Associates participate by wearing blue, as well as by educating both our patients and the community in which we serve!
Your questions, answered.
We get that you’ve been putting off your colonoscopy because “You’re busy. You’re not sure whether insurance will cover it. You’ve heard the prep process isn’t much fun.” – among many other reasons. We can help to make this less stressful for you! Our billing department is available to answer any questions you may have about your insurance coverage (and to get you pre-certified, if necessary). Our physicians offer many different preps; each with different instructions and each designed to meet your individual needs and requirements.
And the best part of it all? We’re here 7 days a week for your convenience, to have your procedure!
Remember, one day really can save your life. Call Hunterdon Gastroenterology Associates today and Stop Cancer before it starts! (908) 818-1225
American Cancer Society, 2018. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/
Colorectal Cancer Alliance, 2018. https://www.ccalliance.org