In 2007, there were 142,672 people with a diagnosis of colorectal cancer in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That's a lot of people. In fact, the CDC goes on to say that it's the second deadliest cancer for the nation. However, perhaps the most difficult statistic to take is that if regular screenings became the societal norm, we could save up to 60 percent of those cancer patients [source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].
So who should be screened? According to Richard Sine for WebMD, if you are older than 50, it's time to talk to your doctor about being screened for colorectal cancer. In addition, Sine says that you may need to consider being screened earlier if you are at increased risk for the disease. Increased risks include having inflammatory bowel disease or a family history of cancer or growths in the rectum or colon (also known as colorectal polyps) [source: Sine].