About colon cancer

  • If you are a non-smoker in the UK, male or female, colon cancer is the most likely cancer to kill you.  1 in 15 men and 1 in 20 women are at risk of developing this type of cancer.

  • There are 40,000 new cases of colon cancer each year in the UK, and 16,000 deaths

  • This needn’t be the case: colon cancer is one of the easiest cancers to treat if it is detected early. The really good news is that this cancer is also preventable in nearly all patients, through regular screening

  • If you have a test to look for colon cancer and its precursor polyps are detected, these can be easily removed, significantly reducing the risk of developing this type of cancer

  • Heightened awareness of colon cancer is essential, particularly for anyone over 45

  • Any abdominal symptoms or change in bowel habit should be discussed immediately with your doctor whatever your age. Please see our Symptoms page for more details of what to look out for

  • From your mid-40s, we recommend that you are screened regularly for colon cancer

  • High quality CT Colonography and colonoscopy are the most accurate methods for examining the colon for precursor polyps and cancer. The NHS is not able to offer these forms of screening to the whole population but that shouldn't stop you considering adding them to your screening programme

  • CT Colonography (CTC) is a CT scanner based screening method which uses the latest imaging technology and is known as a “virtual colonoscopy”. The preparation for CTC is less severe than for colonoscopy and the procedure takes about fifteen minutes (one hour total time at imaging centre). CTC also reviews the appendix and other organs in the abdomen and pelvis such as the liver, pancreas, spleen, ovaries and kidneys

  • 40tude is aiming to raise awareness of the benefits of proper screening for colon cancer so that more people get screened from their mid-40s.

Please see our 'Getting Screened' page for colon cancer screening options in the UK.