Patient Resources

Screening and Early Detection Key to Effective Treatment

Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute sends the reminder that colorectal cancer is preventable and treatable - and often curable - when detected early. In fact, studies have shown that patients treated by colorectal surgeons - experts in the surgical and non-surgical treatment of colon and rectal problems—are more likely to survive colorectal cancer and experience fewer complications.

Beginning at age 50, women and men who are at average risk should be screened, with the type of screening test determined in conjunction with your health care provider. For individuals at higher risk, screenings should begin earlier than age 50. Find out if you are at risk here. Current screening methods include:

Research suggests that a high-fiber, low-fat diet plays a role in prevention. A good rule of thumb is that the average adult should consume at least 25-35 grams of fiber daily. This amount can be obtained by eating five half-cup servings of fruits and vegetables every day. For adults, adding a soluble fiber supplement is an easy and practical way to obtain the recommended daily intake of fiber.

Resources for You

  1. Get regular colorectal cancer screenings beginning at age 50. If you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps, or a personal history of another cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, talk to your doctor about earlier screening.
  2. Eat between 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day from fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread and cereals, nuts and beans.
  3. Eat a low-fat diet.
  4. Eat foods with folate such as leafy green vegetables.
  5. If you use alcohol, drink only in moderation. Alcohol and tobacco in combination are linked to colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers. If you use tobacco, quit. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start.
  6. Exercise for at least 20 minutes three to four days each week. Moderate exercise such as walking, gardening, or climbing steps may help reduce your risk.

Source: American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons

Are you at risk for colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer can affect anyone - men or women alike - and your risk increases as you age. But some people are at greater risk for the disease. 

Source: American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons