Mark Your Calendar to Confront the Risk of Colorectal Cancer

National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month shines light on deadly disease

Colorectal cancer.

Avoiding the subject of colorectal cancer – and colonoscopies – is potentially hazardous to our health. In 2023, an estimated 153,000 people will be diagnosed with this highly preventable disease – joining more than 1.4 million colorectal cancer patients and survivors living today.

So, it’s unsurprising that March has been designated national Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. And here’s some good news: Colorectal cancer is very survivable when detected early.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the U.S. Sometimes abnormal growths, called polyps, form in the colon or rectum. 

The death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping in both men and women for several decades. There are many likely reasons for this, including that colorectal polyps are now being found more often by colonoscopies and removed before these can develop into cancers. Screening through coloscopies also results in many colorectal cancers being found earlier, when they are likely to be easier to treat. In addition, treatments for colorectal cancer have improved over the last few decades, as have the preparation procedures. 

The American Cancer Society estimates the number of colorectal cancers in the United States for 2023 will be:

  • 106,970 new cases of colon cancer
  • 46,050 new cases of rectal cancer

It’s expected to cause about 52,550 deaths during 2023.

Experts recommend adults aged 45 and over should get a colonoscopy screening every 10 years.

The practitioners at the Centers for Gastroenterology encourage everyone over 45 to “mark their calendar” and schedule a colonoscopy. CFG serves patients throughout Northern Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Visit to learn more or schedule an appointment in Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland, or Steamboat Springs. 

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