In February 2000, President Clinton officially dedicated March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Every year, patients, survivors and advocates across the country join together to spread the word of colorectal cancer awareness. These actions include wearing blue, holding fundraising and educational events, talking to friends and family about screenings and much more.
What exactly is colorectal cancer? It is cancer of the colon or rectum. Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common diagnosed cancer in both men and women. The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is 1 in 20. The death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping for over 20 years due to increased screenings and improvement in treatments.
When detected early, the disease is easier to cure. According to the American Cancer Society there is a 74% change of a 5-year survival rate for patients who are diagnosed in stage one of colorectal cancer. For a greater chance of early detection it is important to get screenings often and live a preventive lifestyle. Finding and removing polyps keeps some people from getting colorectal cancer.
At the age of 50, both men and women are at average risk for developing colorectal cancer and should use one of the following screening tests:
- Tests that find polyps and cancer
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
- Colonoscopy every 10 years
- Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years
- CT colongraphy every 5 years
- Tests that mainly find cancer
- Fecal occult blood test every year
- Fecal immunochemical test every year
For people who are considered high risk of colorectal cancer, you should begin screenings before the age of 50 and/or be screened more often. The following conditions could place you at a higher risk for colorectal cancer:
- A personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
- A personal history or inflammatory bowel disease
- A strong family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital offers colorectal cancer treatments, clinical trials and support for patients with colon cancer in the Pinehurst, Raeford, Sanford, Lumberton, Laurinburg, Rockingham, and Troy regions of North Carolina and beyond. FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital is conducting a prevention study for people who have recently been treated for colon cancer, titled “P-5: Statin Polyp Prevention Trial in Patients with Resected Colon Cancer.” People recently diagnosed or treated for Stage 0, I, II or III colon cancer and interested in the Moore Regional study should call the Clinical Trial Office at (910) 715-2200.
For more information on this clinical trial and other clinical trials available please visit www.firsthealth.org/clinicaltrials.
Located in NC, let our oncology specialists provide you with more information about colorectal cancer treatments and therapy options. Find out more about our colon cancer treatment services by calling (910) 715-3500 or visiting us at nccancercare.org.