Colorectal (colon) cancer, which specifically affects the colon or rectum, is not only the second leading cause of cancer death for Americans but also one of the most prevalent cancers among Black men – trailing prostate cancer and lung cancer.
In 2016, according to the American Cancer Society, about 9 percent of Black men will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer out of the more than 189,000 new cancer cases among Blacks. It’s also the third most prevalent cancer among Black women, following breast cancer and lung cancer.
People ages 50 and over are most at risk for the disease. Things that can contribute to colorectal cancer includes family history, inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn’s disease, a low-fiber and high-fat diet, lack of exercise, tobacco use and more, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Symptoms can include blood in your stool, suddenly losing weight or ongoing pains and aches.
It’s important to get regular screenings for colorectal cancer if you are between ages 50 and 75. These tests can find polyps, or abnormal growths in the tissue, before they become cancerous, CDC reports.
Here are the screening tests recommended by U.S. Preventive Services Task Force:
High-Sensitivity FOBT, or Stool Test
- This type of screening should be done once a year. It is used to find antibodies in your stool. After receiving a test kit from your physician, you use a stick or a brush to collect a small amount of stool. Then, you return the kit with the stool samples to the doctor. Afterwards, the physicians checks for any abnormalities.