What is colorectal cancer?
Tumor cells can grow from abnormal cells cancer cells in the large intestine and rectum
These cancer calls start as small growths and eventually get bigger and spread to the rest of the body
Early on, the growth can be taken out easily without surgery and doesn’t need additional treatments, but once the cancer spreads, the patient will need chemo therapy and may need part or their colon removed
Image courtesy of Johns Hopkins Digestive Disorders Library
Why should I care?
Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in the country and in Georgia
Colorectal kills over 50,000 people yearly across the country and 1,400 people in Georgia
Colon cancer is preventative and/or treatable if detected at an early stage
Easy, effective methods of screening are readily available
What are some symptoms?
Early cancer may manifest as fatigue or diminished appetite however most of the time there are no symptoms, thus it’s important to get screened
Patients may experience a change in bowel habits such as bloody or narrow stools, weight loss, abdominal pain
What do I need to do?
Anyone over the age of 50 needs screening
Patients with a family history of colon cancer may need earlier screening (communication with your doctor is critical)
Lots of options exist for screening including: colonoscopy, fecal sample tests (FIT, FOBT, cologuard), flexible sigmoidoscopy
Which test should I choose?
Image Courtesy of CNN.com
-McNamara C, Bayakly AR, Ward KC. Georgia Cancer Data Report, 2016. Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Comprehensive Cancer Registry, December 2016.
-Mortality Web Query 2012-2016. Colon cancer deaths. 4 March 2018 . https://oasis.state.ga.us/oasis/webquery/qryMortality.aspx. Georgia Dept of Public Heath.
-CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/research/articles/crccp_evaluation.htm
-Tangka, FK 2017Eval Program Plann. 2017 Jun;62:64-66 Importance of implementation economics for program planning—evaluation of CDC’s colorectal cancer control program http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.29336/full