A father and daughter reading together

WHEN DETECTED AT
AN EARLIER STAGE,
COLORECTAL CANCER MAY BE EASIER TO TREAT.¹

Prioritize your health.
Talk to your doctor about a screening.

TAKE AWARENESS QUIZ

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

Mature mother and daughter embrace while sitting on a step

WHEN TO START SCREENING. 

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

CANCER DOESN'T STOP FOR PANDEMICS.

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.

Find a Doctor

WHEN YOU
GET SCREENED,
YOU FUEL
THE HOPE.

Colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in men and women, excluding certain skin cancers.3 

When detected
early, colorectal
cancer has a
5-year relative survival rate of 90%.¹

There are more
than 1.5 million
colorectal
cancer survivors
in the U.S.3

Routine screenings
as recommended
by your physician
may prevent
colorectal cancer.¹

MARCH IS COLORECTAL
CANCER
AWARENESS
MONTH.

WATCH VIDEO

A SURVIVOR Story  

Watch the story of Helen’s
diagnosis and treatment journey.

TAKE OUR COLORECTAL CANCER AWARENESS QUIZ TO LEARN ABOUT THE RISKS.

TAKE QUIZ
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: AT WHAT AGE SHOULD I GET MY FIRST COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING?

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

Q: WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON RISK FACTORS FOR COLORECTAL CANCER?

A: Some of the most common risk factors for colorectal cancer are:

  • Age. Your risk of colorectal cancer increases with age. About 90% of cases occur in people who are 50 years old or older.⁸ Although rates have declined in people 65 and older, rates are rising in people under 50.2
  • Having inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis or diverticulitis.⁸
  • A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps.⁸
  • Certain gene mutations inherited through your family. The most common inherited syndromes that can increase colon cancer risk are familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and Lynch syndrome, which is also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC).⁹
  • Ethnic background. People of African American descent have a higher risk of colorectal cancer than other races.⁹
  • A sedentary lifestyle. A lack of physical activity increases your risk of colorectal cancer. Regular exercise may reduce your risk.⁹
  • Obesity. Being significantly overweight may increase your chance of developing colorectal cancer.⁹
  • Diabetes. Those with diabetes or insulin resistance are at a greater risk for colorectal cancer.⁹

Q: HOW COMMON IS COLORECTAL CANCER?

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

Q: WHAT IS A COLORECTAL POLYP?

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

Q: WHAT ARE MY SCREENING OPTIONS?

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.

1

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

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/

7

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

8

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

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

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