What Do You Know about Colorectal Cancer?

Cancers of the colon and rectum together are among the most common cancers affecting Americans, according to the National Cancer Institute. They occur most often in people older than 50. Test your knowledge of colorectal cancer by taking this multiple-choice quiz.

1. How curable is colorectal cancer?
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This means that 91 percent of patients treated when their cancer is found in an early stage are still alive five years later.
2. Which of these is an early symptom of this cancer?
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There are no early warning signs. Sixty-three percent of people go to the doctor only after the disease has spread.
3. Which of these population groups are more likely to develop it?
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All of these groups are at risk for developing colorectal cancer. African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to be diagnosed when the cancer is in advanced stages.
4. At which age should annual screening begin?
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Three-fourths of new cases occur in people with no known risk factors except that they are 50 or older.
5. Which tests does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend be done annually?
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This test detects hidden blood in stool samples. Sigmoidoscopy is recommended every five years, colonoscopy every 10 years.
6. Which factors may contribute to colorectal cancer?
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Smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity contribute, as well.
7. What factors in your personal history may contribute to an increased risk?
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Any of these factors warrant screening before age 50.
8. Which of these preventive measures is the most effective means of reducing risk for colorectal cancer?
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This test is the most important step to take. Exercise, a low-fat diet that includes adequate fiber, and maintaining an appropriate weight also help.
9. How does colorectal cancer begin?
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Eating green vegetables with folate will help protect DNA.
10. Where is colorectal cancer the second-most common form of cancer?
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