dark blue ribbon for colon - colorectal cancer awareness

Colorectal Cancer: What Every Woman Needs to Know

Get the facts on this common, yet highly preventable disease


Colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer, is cancer of the large intestine or the rectum, and it’s one of the most common cancers in the United States. As many as 1 in 25 women (and 1 in 23 men) develop colon cancer during their lifetime.

Wondering what your risk is and what can you do about it? Trying to figure out whether you need a colonoscopy? In our new program, we delve into these questions so you can better understand the disease and learn how regular screenings can help prevent most cases.

In recent years, the recommendation for colon cancer screening has moved from age 50 to 45, as more younger people have started getting colon cancer. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer or other risk factors, talk to your healthcare provider (HCP) to see what age you should get screened. In some cases, it can even be earlier than 45.

That was the case for Alicia Maslar, who shared her story, “When I was 32, I Was Getting Ready to Marry and Have Kids. Then I Was Diagnosed With Colorectal Cancer.” She never imagined she could get colon cancer at such a young age. “I want women to advocate for themselves and have access to a colonoscopy, especially if they’re experiencing symptoms and are younger than the recommended screening age,” she explained.

No matter your age, everything about a colon cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming — from understanding treatment options to managing your mental health, we can help you navigate the next steps.

The good news is that colon cancer is highly preventable. In our infographic, “We Need to Talk About Colon Cancer,” we address removing the stigma in the hopes that more people will address any early symptoms with their HCP is key to better outcomes.

Read on to learn more screening, prevention and treatment of this common disease.

This resource was created with support from Merck.