(Optum) Though not often talked about, colorectal cancer is the “third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third-leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the U.S.” according to the American Cancer Society. It’s cancer that slowly develops in either the colon or the rectum and can sometimes be indicated by symptoms like:

  • changes in bowel habits
  • chronic abdominal pain
  • unexplained weight loss
  • blood in the stool

On average, the lifetime risk of developing colon cancer is about one in 23 for men and one in 25 for women, but this may vary according to some risk factors. Currently, it’s recommended that individuals get tested by age 45, then every 10 years after; though this may vary for those at higher risk. Since the pandemic began, the number of colonoscopies performed in the U.S. has dropped dramatically, even though now it’s more important than ever for individuals to be screened for colorectal cancer.

Dr. Christopher Valentine, Medical Director at Optum Care, shared his concerns about this growing trend. In addition, he explained some of the screening options available for patients today including the Fecal Occult Blood Test and the colonoscopy, which is the most effective way to screen currently.

For more information about screening and where to make a screening appointment near you, click HERE to visit the Optum Care website.

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