Help Protect Your Patients From Colorectal Cancer
By David Doolittle


We’re reaching the tail end of March, which is a good time to remind you that March has been designated National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

With that in mind, here are a few facts about colorectal cancer that you and your patients might not be aware of:

  • Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the U.S. and Texas.
  • An estimated 4,000 Texans will die from colorectal cancer in 2019, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
  • In 2015, 3,697 Texans died from colorectal cancer.
  • Colorectal cancer deaths were more common among men, and more common among black residents than white or Hispanic residents.
  • Hospital charges for colorectal cancer in Texas in 2015 totaled approximately $790 million.
  • People 50 to 75 years old should be screened for colorectal cancer regularly. People younger than 50 who think they may be at risk and people older than 75 should ask a doctor if they should be screened.

To help curb colorectal cancer in Texas, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) encourages physicians to talk to their patients about regular screening.

“We want to improve Texas outcomes, and we can,” HHSC Executive Commissioner Courtney N. Phillips, PhD, said. “Raising awareness of the importance of making healthy choices and screening for colorectal cancer is key, and we’re continuing to support programs that help fight cancer in our state.”

You can find more information about colorectal cancer and ways to increase screening in the DSHS Comprehensive Cancer Control Program.

“Recommended screening and follow up save lives,” DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, said. “Colonoscopies are quick and painless. They can identify and eliminate some growths before they become cancerous or catch cancer early when it may still be treatable without chemotherapy, radiation, or major surgery.”

Last Updated On

March 26, 2019

Originally Published On

March 26, 2019

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David Doolittle


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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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