What Are Key Facts and Statistics About Colorectal Cancer?

Summary: Although colorectal cancer is one of the leading reasons behind cancer deaths, it's also among the most detectable cancers with routine screenings.

Since next month is colon cancer awareness month, Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates wishes to provide colon and rectal cancer facts and information that can help you safeguard your health and wellness. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among adults. However, it's also one of the most identifiable and, in many scenarios, preventable cancers with periodic evaluations.

Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates offers state-of-the-art care for gastrointestinal (GI) health and supports patients and their loved ones when receiving a diagnosis and treatment for colon cancer. To schedule an appointment with a board-certified gastroenterologist and colonoscopy doctor in Hinsdale, IL, please contact our office today.

About colorectal cancer

Commonly called colon cancer or bowel cancer, colorectal cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells that originates in the large intestine (colon) or rectum. Colorectal cancer is very common. In fact, 1 in 25 women and 1 in 23 men will receive a colorectal cancer diagnosis at some point during their lifetime. As reported by the American Cancer Society, approximately 150,000 new cases of colon cancer were diagnosed in 2021.

Symptoms of colon and rectal cancer

It can take about ten years for a premalignant growth (polyp) in the colon or rectum to transition into cancer. In its early stages, the condition might not present any apparent indications or symptoms. In the event a person is showing signs of colon cancer, they will likely notice:

  • An unexplained loss of weight
  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • A change in bowel habits
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Blood in stool

If you or someone you know experiences any of these colorectal cancer symptoms, contact Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates right away.

What are the risk factors for colorectal cancer?

Even though the exact cause of colorectal cancer remains unknown, there are a few factors that appear to put some people at an increased risk. Such risk factors are:

  • Age: While colon cancer can affect younger individuals, about 88% of new cases are in individuals who are over 50 years of age. Recently, however, physicians have seen a trend in the direction of earlier diagnosis. As a result, this has modified the recommended age for routine colon cancer screening to 45.
  • Family history of colorectal cancer: Nearly 25 – 30% of individuals who have colon cancer have a family member who also has been diagnosed with the disease.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Persons who have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are more likely to develop colorectal cancer.

How is colon and rectal cancer diagnosed?

Cancer of the colon or rectum is most likely to be identified and diagnosed during a cancer screening process, such as a colonoscopy exam. Although colorectal cancer is often highly treatable if identified early, about a third of U.S. adults are not up to date on their colon cancer assessments. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention surmises that about 68% of deaths resulting from colon cancer could be prevented if all those eligible were current on their colonoscopy exams.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force encourages you to receive your first colonoscopy at age 45 years of age if you are of average risk. To schedule a colorectal cancer screening, please reach out to Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates.

Learn more about colon cancer screenings in Hinsdale, IL

When diagnosed in the early stages, the prognosis for colorectal cancer patients is generally very favorable. Colorectal cancer that has not metastasized outside of the colon or rectum can often be effectively addressed with a five-year rate of survival of approximately 90%. For more information about colorectal cancer screenings in Hinsdale, IL, please contact our office today. The premier physician-led network of GI doctors at Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates is here to help you protect your health.