Colorectal cancer is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer deaths. The American Cancer Society estimated that more than 57,000 people would die of colorectal cancer in the United States in 2001.1 The mortality rate from colorectal cancer has decreased over the past 15 years, partially because this type of cancer is being found earlier and treatments for it have improved. Screening for colorectal cancer does reduce the cancer-related mortality, which has led many organizations to recommend screening in asymptomatic, average-risk adults older than 50 years.
- Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths overall.
1. Pignone M, Levin B. Recent developments in colorectal cancer screening and prevention. Am Fam Physician 2002;66:297-302.
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