Colorectal cancer — cancer of the colon or rectum — is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. More than 148,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are expected to be diagnosed this year and more than 56,000 people will die from this disease.
Colorectal cancer, which affects men and women at equally frequent rates, develops from precancerous growths called polyps. Removing these polyps is the most effective way to prevent the development of colorectal cancer.
If you don't have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, the following is recommended for patients age 50 and older:
If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, your doctor may suggest a colonoscopy before age 50.
About 90 percent of colorectal cancers and deaths are thought to be preventable. In addition to regular colorectal cancer screenings, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.
To prevent colorectal cancer, the following is recommended:
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.
Center for Colorectal Surgery
1825 Fourth St., Fourth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 885-3606
Fax: (415) 885-7678
Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program at Mount Zion
1600 Divisadero St., Second Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143-1714
Phone: (415) 885-7779
Fax: (415) 885-3787