Join Atrium Health Navicent in Recognizing March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Staff Report

Friday, March 31st, 2023

The community is invited to join Atrium Health Navicent Peyton Anderson Cancer Center in recognizing March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer, a combined term for colon cancer and rectal cancer, is the third most common cause of cancer death in the United States.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 26 for women in the U.S. The ACS estimates that in 2023 there will be 106,970 new cases of colon cancer and 46,050 new cases of rectal cancer, leading to 52,550 deaths.

The death rate from colorectal cancer is particularly high in central Georgia. The colorectal cancer death rate in central Georgia is 14.8 deaths per 100,000 people, which is higher than the national average of 13.7 deaths per 100,000 people.

The good news is that cancer can be detected early through screenings.

“Colorectal screening is essential in detecting precancerous, abnormal growths that can be removed before they turn into cancer, allowing us to diagnose cancer early, when it’s easiest to treat,” said Dr. Roxana Coman, an Atrium Health Navicent gastroenterologist.

For individuals of average risk, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for colorectal cancer starting at age 45 and continuing until age 75. However, you may need to start getting tested before age 45, or more often than other people, if you have inflammatory bowel disease or a family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps.

During this endoscopic procedure, a scope is used to examine a patient’s colon from end to end, looking for any signs of growths or polyps. Polyps can be removed during this procedure to prevent the development of colon cancer.