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Community Resources

Colorectal Cancer Facts 


What is Colorectal Cancer?

  • Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or the rectum. 

  • Colon cancer and rectal cancer are often grouped together due to their similarities.

  • The majority of colorectal cancers start as polyps. 

    • Polyps are growths in the lining of the colon or rectum. 

    • Not all polyps are cancerous, but they can change into cancer over time depending on the type of polyp.

  • Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosis in the United States when excluding skin cancers. 

  • Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths when combined for both men and women.

  • Colorectal cancer is projected to cause over 50,000 deaths in 2022. 


What You Should Know about Colorectal Cancer


Am I at risk for colorectal cancer?

  • All men and women should be screened for colorectal cancer at age 45.

  • Timely screening prevents colorectal cancer and saves lives.


What are the risk factors?

You may be at higher risk if, you:

  • Are 45 years or older.

  • Have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer.

  • Smoke, have diabetes, have obesity, eat red meat or drink alcohol heavily. 


Screening Options

  • FIT (fecal immunochemical test): A non-invasive stool test for colorectal cancer screening. It can be performed at home. A positive test requires further testing.

  • Colonoscopy: A visual-based screening test performed every 10 years that examines the entire colon and rectum



Helpful Tips


To lower your risk of colorectal cancer:

  • Get screened if you are 45 years or older

  • Include a lot of vegetables, fruits and whole grains in your diet

  • Exercise regularly 

  • Control your weight

  • Avoid alcohol and do not smoke


Healthy diet tips to lower your risk of colorectal cancer:

  • Eliminate or limit the amount of red meat, refined carbohydrates and processed foods

you eat.

  • Eat plant-based foods (whole grains, fruits, vegetables) and foods low in fat




Free FIT screening for colorectal cancer for uninsured and underinsured residents of Athens, Georgia is available at these locations:


Athens Nurses Clinic

240 North Avenue

Athens, GA

(706) 613 - 6976


Mercy Health Center

700 Oglethorpe Avenue

Suite C7

Athens, GA

(706) 425 - 0820


Athens Neighborhood Health Center

675 College Avenue

Athens, GA

(706) 546 - 5526

402 McKinley Drive

Athens, GA

(706) 543-1145

If you are insured, talk to your doctor today about the best screening option for you.


Support Groups for Cancer Patients and their Loved Ones in Athens, Georgia:


The Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support

240 Talmadge Drive

Athens, GA



The Cancer Foundation of Northeast Georgia


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