Fighting Colorectal Cancer

Fighting Colorectal Cancer

By Katherine Mason
and Karmen Hanson
Vol . 18 No. 36 / August-September 2010 

General Information

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Colorectal cancer is the No. 2 U.S. cancer killer.

Colorectal—colon and rectum—cancer is the No. 2 cancer killer in the United States. In 2009, an estimated 146,970 new cases of it were diagnosed, and approximately 49,920 people died from the disease. More than 1 million colorectal cancer survivors are alive today.

Several factors—such as age, race and ethnicity, and family and personal history—increase the chance of developing colorectal cancer. Lifestyle-related factors also play a significant role and have been linked to about 75 percent of colorectal cancer occurrences. Public health experts focus on preventing the incidence of all kinds of cancer by reducing the primary risk factors—such as smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, a diet rich in red meat, high sodium consumption and folate deficiency. Prevention activities such as screening and early treatment also reduce all types of cancer mortality.


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