Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and rectum) is the second leading cancer killer among men and women in the U.S. (after lung cancer). More than 140,000 new cases of colon and rectal cancer were diagnosed in 2010 and more than 50,000 deaths were attributed to these cancers.

And yet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 60 percent of these deaths could have been prevented with regular screenings.

Screening Saves Lives

Colorectal cancer screening helps find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. In this way, colorectal cancer is prevented. Screening tests also can detect cancer early, which then frequently can be treated successfully.

Currently, there are three (3) general screening options for health and prevention:
– High-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (annually)
– Flexible sigmoidoscopy (usually every 5 years)
– Colonoscopy (recommended every 10 years)

The good news is that regular screenings can save lives. The bad news is that while many in recent years have become aware of the tests to prevent or catch the disease in its early stages, the disease’s high incidence and mortality rates would indicate that many among us are still avoiding them.


– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: ; or online at: