Colonoscopy in Portland

Screening for colon cancer

Colorectal cancer — often called colon cancer — is a cancer that can actually be prevented by appropriate screening, according to the American Cancer Society.

As the third most-common cancer in the U.S., colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death for both men and women.

The good news is about half of all colon cancer deaths each year could be prevented if everyone age 50 and older was screened.

Colorectal cancer almost always begins with a polyp, a small growth on the lining of the colon or rectum that doctors can remove. Removing polyps prevents cancer from developing. Even if a colonoscopy shows you have cancer, early-stage colon cancer is highly treatable, with a five-year survival rate of 90 percent.

As you can see, being tested is the key to early detection for prevention and treatment. Colonoscopy is one of the best methods available for detecting colorectal polyps and cancer.

If you have a family or personal history of colon cancer, polyps or even of inflammatory bowel disease, you’re at more risk of colon cancer. Talk with your primary care physician to find out if your history, symptoms and/or age indicate it’s time for a colonoscopy.