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Here’s a startling fact: Cancer survivors are more likely to NOT get recommended screening for other cancers. 

You would think that cancer survivors would be the first in line to be screened for other cancers. But oftentimes, this isn’t the case. As patients and their doctors become so focused on and busy with fighting their current cancer, post-checkups and recurrences that screening for a second cancer often gets overlooked.

This remains true even though having one cancer automatically puts one at a higher risk for a second.

Laura Headshot

Dr. Laura Porter, MD, stage IV colon cancer survivor and Colon Cancer Alliance Patient Advocate Medical Consultant.

Analyses of the U.S. National Cancer Institute’s SEER data have shown that a cancer survivor has twice the probability – about 1 in 6 – of developing a new primary cancer than someone of the same age and sex who has never had cancer. Survivors of colon cancer are at an increased risk for second malignancies within the colon and rectum, as well as in the breast, uterus, prostate and ovary.

As one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer, it is especially important for cancer survivors to get screened for colon cancer. Survivors of a previous cancer are considered higher risk for colon cancer, which means they need to be discussing screening with their doctors earlier than age 50.

Learn more about who should be screened and when.


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