In one year, about 136,830 people are predicted to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the US, and about 50,310 people are predicted to die of the disease. In both men and women, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death.
Significant progress in the prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer is possible by increasing access to and utilization of colorectal cancer screening tests. While large declines in colorectal cancer incidence and death rates in the past decade have been attributed to increased colonoscopy use, only 59% of people aged 50 or older, for whom screening is recommended, reported having received colorectal cancer testing consistent with current guidelines in 2010 according to the National Health Interview Survey.
Colorectal cancer might not cause symptoms right away, but if it does, it may cause one or more of these symptoms:
- A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
- A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so
- Rectal bleeding
- Blood in the stool, which may make it look dark
- Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unintended weight loss
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