Each year in New York City, more than 1,200 adults die of colon cancer, making it the second leading cause of cancer death in the city. Colorectal cancer affects people in all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people age 50 and older. Early detection and treatment can help prevent colon cancer from forming.
When Should You Get Screened?
The best time to start getting screened for colorectal cancer is soon after turning 50. Then you should continue to get screened at regular intervals. You may need to be tested before you turn 50, or more often than other people, if:
- You or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.
- You have an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
- You have a genetic syndrome such as familiar adenomatous polyposis (FAP).
The gold standard for colorectal cancer screening is a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy can detect and remove polyps—small growths that may develop into cancer if left alone – before they turn into cancer. Most people should get a colonoscopy once every 10 years, as long as their test results are negative.
Talk to your doctor to schedule a screening, or call 311 for information on where you can get free or low-cost screenings.