Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal (colon) cancer is one of the most common cancers in New York State and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among all people. Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. The colon and rectum are part of the body's digestive system. To learn more about the colon and rectum – where they are and how they work, visit

People of all racial and ethnic groups get colorectal cancer. With regular testing (also called screening), colorectal cancer can be stopped before it starts, or found early when it is easier to treat.

Everyone should talk to their health care provider about their risk for colorectal cancer and at what age to begin regular testing.

Colorectal Cancer Screening and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many people to skip colorectal cancer screening. If you are due for colorectal cancer screening, do not wait. Call your health care provider to schedule your appointment or to get an at-home stool-based test as soon as you can. If you are having any symptoms of colorectal cancer, call your health care provider right away. Regular screening may prevent colorectal cancer or find it early when treatment works best.

Health care providers are taking steps so that important health visits can happen safely. All staff and patients must wear masks and be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before going in the office. Equipment, exam rooms and dressing rooms are cleaned after each patient. Other safety steps may include socially distanced waiting rooms, on-line check in, and more time added between appointments.