Can colorectal cancer be prevented?

From: Mayo Clinic News Network

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egular screening is one of the most important ways to prevent colorectal cancer (colon and rectal).

“Colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. And we expect about 50,000 people will die this year from colorectal cancer,” Dr. Lisa Boardman, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist.

Everyone at age 45 is recommended to begin regular screening. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force updated its guidelines in 2021 to include starting screening five years earlier than the previous recommendation of 50, after studies showed increased rates of cancer in younger people.

“What we’re seeing now is more people developing colorectal cancer under the age of 50. In fact, 10% of colorectal cancer cases now are going to occur in people who are under the age of 50,” says Dr. Boardman.

Those at higher risk include African Americans, those with a family history of colorectal cancer and who have other health issues, including diabetes. It’s important to talk with your health care team to determine when to begin screening.

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