Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
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 helps states and tribes across the United States increase colorectal cancer screening rates among men and women aged 50 years and older.
Next: Basic Information
CDC’s Latest Research
- Years of life and productivity lost from potentially avoidable colorectal cancer deaths in U.S. counties with lower educational attainment
- Costs of promoting cancer screening: Evidence from CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program
- Planning a national-level data collection protocol to measure outcomes for the Colorectal Cancer Control Program
Our Screen for Life Basic Facts on Screening fact sheet [PDF-321KB] explains in simple terms how screening tests can save your life.
This Medscape video explains how doctors can increase colorectal cancer screening rates.
In this podcast, Dr. Lisa Richardson explains why she got tested for colorectal cancer when she turned 50 years old.
These continuing education courses provide guidance and tools for clinicians on the optimal ways to implement screening for colorectal cancer.