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It is estimated that at least 50 - 60% of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented if all men and women aged 50 years or older were screened routinely. Colorectal cancer screening can find and remove precancerous polyps and early-stage cancer. Precancerous polyps or growths can be present in the colon for years before invasive cancer develops. When polyps are removed, cancer is prevented. And when colorectal cancer is found early, treatment can be more effective.
Some studies suggest that people may reduce their risk of developing colorectal cancer by increasing physical activity, eating fruits and vegetables, limiting alcohol consumption, and avoiding tobacco.
Centers for Disease Control. (2010). "Colorectal cancer prevention"