What Are Key Facts and Figures About Colon Cancer?


Colon cancer is the second most common reason for cancer-related deaths among women and men combined. It is also among the most identifiable and, in many cases, preventable cancers when routine screenings are maintained. With March designated as colorectal cancer awareness month, Texas Digestive Disease Consultants seeks to provide colon and rectal cancer facts and information that could help you safeguard your health against this disease.

Texas Digestive Disease Consultants stays on the cutting-edge of digestive health and provides support for individuals and their families as they receive a diagnosis and care for colon cancer. If you are interested in learning more about our experienced team of gastroenterologists and colonoscopy doctors, contact one of our GI offices in DFW today.

About colon and rectal cancer

Sometimes referred to as bowel or colon cancer, colorectal cancer occurs when there is an uncontrolled growth of cells that starts in the colon (large intestine) or the rectum. This form of cancer is very common, as 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women will have colorectal cancer during their life. Roughly 150,000 new cases of colon cancer were detected in 2021, as reported by the American Cancer Society.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer

It can take around ten years or so for a precancerous growth (polyp) in the colon or rectum to transition into cancer. In the beginning stages, colon cancer is not likely to present any symptoms or warning signs. If a person is exhibiting indications of colon or rectal cancer, they might experience:

  • Chronic diarrhea

  • A change in bowel habits

  • Unintentional weight loss

  • Blood in stool

  • Discomfort in the abdominal area

If you or a family member has any of these symptoms of colorectal cancer, get in touch with Texas Digestive Disease Consultants in DFW as soon as possible.

What are the risk factors for colorectal cancer?

Even though the precise cause of colon and rectal cancer remains uncertain, there are a number of factors that seemingly place certain patients at a higher risk. These risk factors are:

  • Family history of colon or rectal cancer: Roughly 25 – 30% of people with colon cancer have a relative who also has been diagnosed with the disease.

  • Age: Though colon cancer can develop in younger people, approximately 88% of new diagnoses occur in patients who are over the age of 50, but recently, we have seen a tendency in the direction of earlier diagnosis. This has modified the age recommendation for routine screening to 45 years old.

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Patients diagnosed with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease have a higher chance of getting colon cancer.

How is colon and rectal cancer detected?

Colon cancer is most likely to be caught and diagnosed with a cancer screening procedure, such as a colonoscopy. While colon and rectal cancer is commonly very treatable when identified early, roughly 1 in 3 American adults are not up to date on their colon cancer exams. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention approximates that around 68% of deaths resulting from colorectal cancer could be avoided if all those eligible remained current on their colonoscopy screenings.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests having an initial colonoscopy at 45 years of age for those who are of average risk. To arrange for a colorectal cancer screening in DFW, contact a Texas Digestive Disease Consultants office near you.

Learn more about colorectal cancer screenings in DFW

If identified early, the prognosis for colon or rectal cancer is quite good. Cancer that has not spread past the colon or rectum can commonly be treated effectively with a five-year survival rate of about 90%. For more on colorectal cancer or to find a colonoscopy doctor near you, please contact one of our gastroenterology clinics in DFW. The experienced GI specialists at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants look forward to helping you preserve your health and wellness.