Approximately 150,000 cases of colon cancer are diagnosed ever year in the United States alone. Kaiser Permanente medical oncologist Joanne Schottinger, MD aims to stress the importance of screening for the disease.
“About one in 20 [Americans] will be diagnosed with colon cancer,” she says. And while the statistic is ominous, colon cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. “Polyps and early, re-malignant growths can be taken out and removed at the time of screening so that you never actually develop cancer.”
Screening age for colon cancer is recommended for adults between the ages 50 and 75, although those with a family history of colon cancer or who embody other risk factors should take precautions by screening earlier.
“About two-thirds of people who are diagnosed with colon cancer do survive,” Dr. Schottinger says. “But if you catch it early—in a Stage 0 or 1—that number shoots up to over 90% of people will survive and do well.”