Colon cancer has hid in the shadows of other cancers because people are too embarrassed to openly discuss the disease because it deals with part of the body that the general public is uncomfortable talking about. Sadly, many individuals suffer needlessly. Understanding risk factors, symptoms and screening options will not only help in avoiding the disease, but could mean the difference between life and death.
The stigma associated with this cancer still looms large. Colon cancer kills nearly 50,000 Americans yearly and almost 150,000 new cases of colon or rectal cancer will be diagnosed this year. Colon cancer doesn’t discriminate. It affects everyone, no matter race, gender or economic status. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an average citizen or of celebrity status, you have a 1 in 19 chance of getting colon cancer.
This disease has a significant impact on all races. New figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that African-American men and women have the highest incidence rates among all races with 62 out of every 100,000 black men being diagnosed with colon cancer and 47.1 black women being diagnosed with the disease. Caucasian men and women had an incidence rate of 51.5 and 38.5, respectively, followed closely by Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islanders.