- Colorectal cancer is the second most deadly form of cancer, behind lung cancer, but it doesn’t have to be.
- Screening can prevent the cancer or catch it early when it’s highly treatable.
- Everyone over the age of 50 should be screened for colorectal cancer (45 for African Americans and 40 for those with a family history).
- There are several different screening options. Some cost as little as $25 and all are covered by insurance.
- One in every three people are not up-to-date on screening for colorectal cancer. Only 59 percent of Oregonians are getting screened. By comparison, screening rates for breast and cervical cancer are at or over 75%.
- Colorectal cancer is often symptomless.
- Colorectal cancer affects men and women equally.
- Research found that people are most likely to get screened if they’re encouraged by someone they know and trust. So, if you’ve been screened, sharing your story is critical to saving lives. Talk about your experience with people you know and encourage them to get screened too.
I was screened for colorectal cancer and was diagnosed with stage IV cancer in February 2010. My surgeon estimated the cancer had probably been growing in my colon for about 10 years! If I had been screened earlier, there would have been advantages to diagnosing and treating the cancer earlier.
I talk about colon screening because I want my friends and family members to understand it isn’t a terrible process, like they might think. It’s easy to do, and when it comes to colon cancer, early diagnosis and prevention really make a difference. I’m an example of how it saves lives.
I have had regular checkups since then and have no evidence of colon cancer. I will continue to have colon screenings and I encourage others to do the same.
Joy Maxwell – Roseburg