Colorectal cancer is a common, yet highly detectable, form of cancer. The American Cancer Society reports that it is the third deadliest cancer in the United States, and Louisiana has one of the highest rates of death from colorectal cancer in the country. Education and awareness are vital to preventing and controlling this disease.

Who is at risk?

  • People over age 45
  • Anyone with a family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps
  • Anyone with a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, or colorectal polyps
  • Anyone with a previous diagnosis of colon cancer or another cancer, such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer or uterine cancer

Some risk factors are controllable. These include:

  • Smoking
  • Consuming large amounts of alcohol
  • Eating a diet high in red meat and processed meats
  • Living a sedentary (inactive) lifestyle
  • Being overweight or obese

Are there screenings to check for colorectal cancer?

Early detection is key to preventing and treating colorectal cancer. There are a few tests your doctor may perform to detect the condition. These include a colonoscopy, a Cologuard® test, a fecal occult blood test (also called FOBT) and a flexible sigmoidoscopy. Your doctor can help you determine the best test for you.

Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and about creating a plan that’s right for you.