The UCSF-John Muir Health Jean and Ken Hofmann Cancer Center at the Behring Pavilion is now open.  LEARN MORE >

Colorectal Cancer is On the Rise

Colorectal (colon and rectal) cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women. The good news is that colon and rectal cancers can be prevented or easily treated when found early.

There has been a dramatic rise in colon cancer diagnoses compared to a decade ago, including younger adults in their early 40s (and even 30s).

It’s important to get a colonoscopy starting at age 45, or even earlier if you have:

  • Family or personal history of colorectal cancer (especially a parent or sibling) 
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Certain genetic syndromes, such as Lynch syndrome 
  • Lifestyle factors that include drinking alcohol, poor nutrition and being overweight

Colonoscopies Can Help Prevent Colon Cancer

While there are many types of screenings for colorectal cancer, a colonoscopy is the best way to find cancer. It’s also the only screening that can help prevent cancer because during a colonoscopy, doctors can remove polyps (abnormal growths) on the colon walls. While most polyps are benign (non-cancerous), they can turn into cancer over time.

Bathroom behavior should be a normal part of your conversation with your doctor. Always tell your doctor about changes or pain in your bowel movements, as well as unexplained weight loss.

What to Expect During a Colonoscopy

Despite what you may have heard, there’s no need to fear the colonoscopy! Advances in health care have made the entire colonoscopy experience much better. You’re comfortably sedated and asleep during the procedure. Most people feel no discomfort afterwards. Even the pre-colonoscopy “prep” phase is easier than it used to be. 

Schedule Your Colonoscopy

Call (925) 296-7340 between 9 AM – 5PM

In most cases, no referral is needed from your primary care doctor.