What You Should Know About Colorectal Cancer

Facts & Screening Guidelines

  • Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S.
  • The average person’s lifetime risk of developing it is 1 in 20
  • It affects men and women equally
  • African Americans are at greater risk compared to any other ethnic group
  • There is a strong genetic component with colorectal cancer; therefore, it is very important to know your family’s medical history
  • Women over 75 years are more likely to die of colorectal cancer than breast cancer
  • It can be prevented by removing polyps before cancer starts
  • Symptoms may include change in bowel habits or narrowing of the stool for more than a few days, rectal bleeding, cramping or abdominal pain, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss and fatigue from anemia.
    No matter your age, if you experience any of the symptoms listed, see your physician immediately so the cause can be identified and treated if needed
  • Many people have no symptoms
  • With early detection, survival rates are 80%+

  • The information in this kit is general in nature. Your personal healthcare provider is your best source of medical advice.

    Saving Adrienne: Treating Rectal Cancer Requires a Sophisticated Team

    Adrienne Griffen was a busy mother of three and thought her digestive system was just out of whack when she went in for a physical in 2012. Her mother and sister both had had diverticulitis; she had seen blood in her stool and thought she might have the same problem.
    A colonoscopy found that the 47-year-old Arlington resident had rectal cancer. Her doctor referred her to a surgeon, who diagnosed her cancer as early — stage 1 — and recommended immediate surgery to remove the tumor. Adrienne, however, wanted a second opinion and went to see Jennifer McQuade, MD, FACS, FASCRS, a colorectal surgeon in the Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group. Dr. McQuade reviewed all of Adrienne’s test results and gave her a very different diagnosis — stage 3 cancer that had invaded nearby lymph nodes. Read this article...

    Understanding Colonoscopy In this video, you’ll learn what you might experience during a colonoscopy and what to expect given your particular results. Watch the video How to Schedule a Colonoscopy 
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