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Scope, Symptoms of Colon Cancer

October 5, 1999

Some colon cancer facts:

_Cancer of the colon or rectum, also called colorectal cancer, is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women in the United States.

_In 1999, an estimated 129,400 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 56,600 will die of the disease.

_Screening tests can reduce deaths from colorectal cancer by identifying polyps, tiny growths inside the colon, before they become cancerous. Screening also detects cancers at an early stage when treatment is most effective and survival rates are high.

_The risk of colorectal cancer increases with age. The majority of cases _ 93 percent _ occur in men and women 50 and older.

_All racial and ethnic groups are at risk for colorectal cancer.

_A family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer.

_Symptoms include rectal bleeding, blood in the stool, abdominal pain and a change in bowel habits. Some patients may experience a general weakness due to anemia.

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