Colon Cancer Screening Saves Lives!


Colon Cancer Screening Saves Lives!



Incidence and mortality rates for colon and rectal cancers are DECREASING among adults 50 years and older in the U.S. However, rates of colon and rectal cancers are  INCREASING in young adults!


Colorectal cancer occurs in the large intestines (colon) and the rectum. Most colorectal cancers develop from precancerous growths called polyps which develop in the lining of the colon.

Colon cancer screening is important for detecting polyps or early-stage cancers. Colon cancer screening is done in people who have no symptoms. If a polyp or cancer is detected early, it can be removed and there is less chance of it becoming more serious.

Colon cancer screening saves lives!

What are the different types of screening tests?

●Colonoscopy: The doctor examines the colon using a thin tube with a tiny camera attached to it. The tube also has tools on the end to remove polyps or pieces of tissue if needed.

●Computed tomographic colonography: A special X-ray called a "CT scan” is used to examine the colon.

●Flexible sigmoidoscopy: A sigmoidoscopy is very similar to a colonoscopy. However, a sigmoidoscopy only looks at the last past of the colon while the colonoscopy looks at the entire colon.

●Stool test: A stool test can check for blood in samples of your bowel movements. Once you collect the samples from your stools, you place it in a special container which is then mailed to the lab for testing.

●Stool DNA test: The stool DNA test checks for genetic markers of cancer, as well as for signs of blood. This test requires you to collect a whole bowel movement. Instructions for collection and mailing are provided in a special kit.

Who needs colon cancer screening?

The age at which you need to start colon cancer screening depends on several different factors

Most people begin having colon cancer screening at age 50.  However, people who are at increased risk of getting colon cancer sometimes begin screening at a younger age. Most people can stop being screened around the age of 75, or at the latest 85.

How often do you need to be screened?

It depends on your risk factors and which test you have. People who are at high risk of developing colon cancer are tested more often and should have a colonoscopy.

For most people who are at low risk, schedules are as follows:

●Colonoscopy every 10 years

●CT colonography (CTC) every 5 years

●Sigmoidoscopy every 5 years

●Stool testing for blood once a year

●Stool DNA testing every 3 years

How do I choose which test to have?

Colon cancer screening saves lives. We welcome the opportunity to work with you to decide the best test for you and to answer any questions you may have. Please call Hunterdon Digestive Health Specialists: Tel (908) 788-8200.

Appointment can be scheduled at:

Flemington Office: 267 US-202, Flemington, NJ 08822 Hillsborough Office: 203 Omni Dr, Hillsborough, NJ 08844

*The above facts are based on published data from UpToDate.

Rates of Colon and rectal cancers are increasing in young adults! Let’s Look at the Statistics

  • CRC incidence and mortality rates are DECREASING among 50+ years (US)
  • Y-On CRC incidence and mortality rates are INCREASING in males and females
  • Symptoms: rectal blood, abdominal pain, change in bowl movements
  • Increase awareness in clinicians and young adults to facilitate early detection

Young Onset Colorectal Cancers are associated with worse outcomes and more likely to be detected at an advanced stage.

  • Ages 20-24 years – CRC incidence is 0.85-per 100,000
  • Ages 45-49 years – CRC incidence is 28.8 per 100,000
  • Although older age groups have substantially lower rates, the rates in younger individuals have spiked.
  • The sharpest increase is among the 40-44 year age group

➢  10.7 per 100,000 in 1988


➢  17.9 per 100,000 in 2006

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