In North Dakota, there are more than 400 men and women diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year. Colorectal cancer is highly preventable when detected early. If you're over the age of 50, it's important to get screened. If your family history includes colorectal cancer in relatives younger than 50, you may need the screening even earlier.
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The Bismarck region of Sanford Health is ahead of the country in the success of colorectal cancer care, with an overall patient survival rate that is 5 percent higher than the national average.
Health care physicians and advanced practice providers may suggest one or more tests for colorectal cancer screening, including a fecal occult blood test (FOBT), sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, or double contrast barium enema (DCBE).
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer incidence and third leading cause of death in North Dakota. Colorectal cancer often has no symptoms at all until it's at an advanced stage.
A colonoscopy allows the physician to look inside your entire large intestine, from the lowest part, the rectum, all the way up through the colon to the lower end of the small intestine. The procedure allows physicians to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum.