March is colorectal cancer awareness month. Colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in the U.S. An estimated 151,000 people will be diagnosed with a colorectal cancer this year. These cancers are on the rise, yet during the pandemic screenings have declined. Early detection through screening can detect colorectal cancer early, when it’s small and hasn’t spread, allowing for more successful treatment.
For decades, colorectal cancer was most often diagnosed in people age 50 and older. More recently, data suggest the incidence of colorectal cancer is declining in people 50 and older and increasing in younger people. Between 1994 and 2014, there was a 51% increase in colorectal cancer rates among adults younger than 55.
If you are age 45 or older or have a family history of colorectal cancer, talk with your primary care physician about scheduling your colonoscopy soon.