Colorectal cancer isn’t just an older person’s disease. It’s becoming more common in younger adults.² Routine screenings at regular intervals are the most powerful tool you have to protect yourself. When it’s detected early, before it has spread, the 5-year relative survival rate is around 90%.¹
It’s estimated that nearly 150,000 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2021.³ Some of the risk factors include family history, ethnic background and lifestyle factors like whether you smoke or use alcohol excessively.⁴
At Medtronic, we're committed to increasing colorectal cancer survival rates. Getting screened can help catch it at an earlier stage. A colonoscopy screening, for example, can assist in the detection and removal of colorectal polyps, which can become cancerous over time.⁵
The American Cancer Society recommends that people with an average risk of colorectal cancer start screening at age 45.¹ However, people with higher risks may need to consider screening sooner.¹ Talk to your doctor about your risk factors. Or visit our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more. Use this downloadable question guide that includes points to cover when you meet with your doctor.DOWNLOAD QUESTION GUIDE
Colorectal cancer screening rates have declined 86% during COVID-19.⁶ But you also have several options for how to get screened, even during the pandemic. These include in-home screenings and less invasive tests like DNA stool tests. Talk to your doctor about which tests are right for you. Your doctor can refer you to a specialist for screening if needed. Or you can use our Physician Finder Tool to locate one.
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A: The age at which you should get your first colorectal screening depends on a variety of risk factors which you should discuss with your doctor. The American Cancer Society recommends people with average risk factors get screened starting at age 45 and at regular intervals thereafter.¹ People with higher risk factors may need to be screened earlier and more frequently as recommended by their physician.¹
A: Some of the most common risk factors for colorectal cancer are:
A: Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. It is also the third most common cancer in men and in women, excluding some types of skin cancer.¹⁰ In 2021, it’s estimated that there will be 104,270 new cases of colorectal cancer and 45,230 new cases of rectal cancer diagnosed in the U.S.7
A: Polyps are mushroom-shaped growths that can occur on the inside walls of your colon. They can become cancerous over time, and spread to other areas of the body.¹¹ About 2/3 of colon polyps are the precancerous type known as adenomas.¹² However, only 5% of adenomas progress to cancer.¹²
A: Screening tests are the best way to locate and remove polyps that could eventually develop into colorectal cancer.¹¹ There are many screening options available. These include the fecal occult blood test (FOBT), flexible sigmoidoscopy, double contrast barium enema, and colonoscopy. Meet with your healthcare provider to discuss whether you should get screened and which screening method is right for you.
American Cancer Society. “Colorectal Cancer, Early Diagnosis and Staging” cancer.org website. Digital PDF. Page 2. Revised June 29, 2020. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/CRC/PDF/Public/8606.00.pdf
American Cancer Society. “Colorectal Cancer Rates Rise in Younger Adults.” cancer.org website. ACS news article. March 2020. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/colorectal-cancer-rates-rise-in-younger-adults.html
American Cancer Society. “Key Statistics for Colorectal Cancer” cancer.org website. Updated January 12, 2021. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
American Cancer Society. “Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors.” cancer.org website. Updated June 12, 2020. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html
Mayo Clinic. “Colon Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment” mayoclinic.org website. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/colon-cancer/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353674
Goshua, Anna. Scientific American. “The Pandemic Is Delaying Cancer Screenings and Detection” scientifcamerican.com website. December 2020. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://www.scientifcamerican.com/article/the-pandemic-is-delaying-cancer-screenings-and-detection/
American Cancer Society. “Key Statistics for Colorectal Cancer.” cancer.org. Updated January 12, 2021. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
Center For Disease Control and Prevention. “What are the risks for colorectal cancer?” cdc.org website. Updated February 2020. Accessed January 21, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/risk_factors.htm
Mayo Clinic Staf, Mayo Clinic. “Colon cancer risk factors.” Mayoclinic.org website. Accessed January 25, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rectal-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20352884
Center For Disease Control and Prevention. Colorectal Cancer Statistics. cdc.gov website. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/index.htm
Frequently Asked Questions About Colorectal Cancer | ASCRS. Fascrs.org. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://fascrs.org/patients/diseases-and-conditions/frequently-asked-questions-about-colorectal-cancer
Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Health Medical School. They found polyps. Now what? Health.harvard.edu. Updated 9/10/2019. Accessed 2/21. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-andconditions/they-found