- 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 got screened for colorectal cancer when I was 50 because my doctor recommended it, and several of my friends encouraged me. Then in 2006, my friend Wendy Huntley died of colon cancer. Her friends and husband started Wendy’s Wish to raise money for cancer patients with expenses not covered by insurance. We also want to educate our community about the importance of screening for early detection. Early detection of colon cancer allows for much better outcomes and treatment.
Cindy Pierce-teacher-librarian at Mountain View High School, Bend