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Colorectal (Colon) Cancer

Photo: A middle-aged African-American couple

Of cancers affecting both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and rectum) is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be. Screening can find precancerous polyps—abnormal growths in the colon or rectum—so they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure.

If you are 50 years old or older, get screened now. If you think you may be at higher than average risk for colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor about getting screened early.

CDC’s Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign informs men and women aged 50 years and older about the importance of getting screened for colorectal cancer regularly.

CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program supports population-based screening efforts in 25 states and 4 tribes.

Next: Basic Information



Featured Resources

Screen for Life Basic Facts on Screening fact sheet

Our Screen for Life Basic Facts on Screening fact sheet [PDF-321KB] explains in simple terms how screening tests can save your life.

Photo of Doctor Djenaba Joseph in Medscape Expert Commentary video

This Medscape video explains how doctors can increase colorectal cancer screening rates.

Colorectal Cancer Podcast

In this podcast, Dr. Lisa Richardson explains why she got tested for colorectal cancer when she turned 50 years old.

Screening for Colorectal Cancer: Optimizing Quality

These continuing education courses provide guidance and tools for clinicians on the optimal ways to implement screening for colorectal cancer.

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