Colorectal cancer is the second-largest cause of cancer-related deaths, killing more than 55,000 Americans a year.
But it's also one of the most preventable cancers, and curable when detected early. The cancer grows slowly, and because one of the first symptoms -- hidden blood in the stool -- goes unnoticed, early testing is important.
Men and women are at almost equal risk for colorectal cancer. Your chances of getting it increase after age 40, and most cases occur after age 50.
The American Digestive Health Foundation recommends that people over 50 get tested every year. At-home tests are available at your doctor's office.
You should also see a doctor every five years after age 50 for a sigmoidoscopy, a procedure in which a flexible instrument is inserted into the colon to check for polyps and cancers.