Colon Cancer Awareness Month; Importance of Getting Screened

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Colorectal cancer is the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, and during the month of March The American Cancer Society is trying to raise awareness of the importance of getting screened. Dr. Flora Sadri, Chief Medical Officer, Community Health Center of Franklin County, shared more about the importance of screening.

Numbers newly published in the Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2014 edition show:
Colorectal cancer is the third-most common cancer in both men and women.
In the United States, 96,830 cases of colon cancer and 40,000 cases of rectal cancer are expected to be diagnosed this year.
In the United States, 50,310 deaths from colorectal cancer are estimated in 2014.
In Massachusetts, 2,800 new cases of colon cancer and 990 colon cancer deaths are estimated in 2014.

Incidence rates have been decreasing for most of the past two decades, which has largely been attributed to increases in the use of colorectal cancer screening tests that allow for the detection and removal of colorectal polyps before they progress to cancer. From 2006 to 2010, incidence rates declined by 3.7% per year among adults 50 years of age and older (among whom screening is recommended), but increased by 1.8% per year among adults younger than age 50. Mortality rates for colorectal cancer have declined in both men and women over the past two decades; from 2006 to 2010, the rate declined by 2.5% per year in men and by 3.0% per year in women

Beginning at age 50, both men and women at average risk for developing colorectal cancer should use one of the screening tests below:
Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years*
Colonoscopy every 10 years
Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years*
CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years*
Colonoscopy should be done if test results are positive

About the American Cancer Society:
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. We’re finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit


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