Breaking Down Colon Cancer Statistics: Catch it early to keep the odds in your favor

Breaking Down Colon Cancer Statistics: Catch it early to keep the odds in your favor

Fast Facts

  • Colorectal cancer( CRC) is the second deadliest cancer in men and women in the US.
  • 1 in 24 people will be diagnosed with CRC at some point in their life. And over 50,000 Americans will die of CRC this year.
  • The earlier you catch colon cancer, the more likely you are to survive. People with localized cancer at diagnosis have a greater than 90% chance of being alive 5 years after diagnosis. 

The team here at CheckIt4Andretti are working hard to raise awareness about the benefits of screening for colon cancer. We’re spreading the word that colorectal cancer (CRC) is preventable and that it’s curable when caught early. You can’t change your genetics, but modifying lifestyle choices may reduce your risk. Let’s take a look at your chances of getting colon cancer and how you can keep the odds in your favor.

1 in 24

One in 24 people in the US will develop colon or rectal cancer (CRC) at some point in their life. The risk is slightly higher for men (1 in 23) than women (1in 24). That means that if you have 25 friends, family members or co-workers, your life will most likely be touched by CRC. That number has been slowly decreasing since doctors started routine screening. 1 in 24 also means that there will be about 153,000 new cases of colon cancer diagnosed this year. 

Increasing almost 2% a year

Even though the overall rate of CRC is going down, there’s one group where it’s going up. Young people under 45 years old are experiencing a 1-2% increase in the rate of colon cancer every year! In 1995, people under 55  accounted for about 10% of newly diagnosed cases of CRC. By 2019, they made up 20% of new diagnoses. 

Doctors think there are many reasons for the increasing rates in young people. The reasons young people may be developing CRC more often include:

  • Recommended screening doesn’t start until age 45 
  • The lack of symptoms until CRC has developed
  • Increasing rates of overweight and obesity
  • Highly processed foods in the Western diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High sugar intake
  • Alcohol and tobacco use

Dr. Xavier Llor, a gastroenterologist at Yale Medicine, recommends focusing on the factors young people can change in order to reduce their risk, including:

  • Don’t smoke and minimize alcohol use
  • Exercise, even a short walk, each day
  • Lose weight: small changes can have a big impact
  • Eat more whole foods and vegetables. Eat less processed, sugary foods and red meat
  • Listen to your body. If something doesn’t seem right, get it checked out

Take the Colon Cancer Risk Assessment

2nd Deadliest Cancer

CRC cancer has become the second biggest cancer killer among Americans; lung cancer ranks deadliest among men and women combined. That means that over 53,000 people are expected to die from CRC in the US this year! Second place is a heartbreaking statistic when you consider that CRC is largely preventable or curable when caught early.

Greater than 90%

The American Joint Committee on Cancer reports that if CRC is diagnosed before it spreads to lymph nodes or outside the colon, more than 90% of people will be alive 5 years after diagnosis. The 5 year survival drops quickly depending on how far the cancer has spread. 5 year survival rates based on stage are as follows:

Catching CRC at Stage 0 or 1 also means a much easier treatment regimen. A simple polypectomy (removal of a polyp) or surgical resection is usually the treatment of choice for very early colorectal cancers. More advanced stages (2-4) require more extensive surgery. Depending on its size, organs affected and aggressiveness of the cancer, other treatments may be needed. Chemotherapy, radiation or immunotherapy may be used to help improve your chances of a good outcome.


The risk of getting CRC is never zero. You can’t control every risk factor. Even if you exercise every day, never drink or smoke and only eat organic whole food, you’re still at risk for getting CRC. Once you’re born, the dice have been thrown. You can’t go back and change the characteristics that are carried in your family’s past. And you can’t control all the chemicals in the environment around you. Some of the factors that increase your risk of CRC, but you can’t control include:

  • Family history of CRC
  • Genetic syndromes 
  • Environmental exposure
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender at birth
  • Age

The Bottom Line

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in men and women. When caught early it can be cured. You can’t reduce your risk of getting CRC to zero, but you can improve your odds by modifying some lifestyle choices, losing weight and getting screened. People are counting on you to be there for them tomorrow and years from now. Don’t gamble with your life. Get checked out. Check it for the people you love. CheckIt4Andretti.

Colonoscopy Screening: What to Expect Before, During and After the Procedure

Fast Facts:

  • Everyone should start routine screening for colorectal cancer beginning at age 45, and younger if you have risk factors for colon cancer.
  • Colonoscopy is considered the gold standard screening test for detecting colon cancer. Colonoscopy allows your doctor to biopsy any abnormalities they see and to remove worrisome polyps.
  • You have a choice of how to prepare for your colonoscopy. An expert team will take care of you during and after the procedure.

There are multiple tests to screen for colon and rectal cancer. Some simple tests check for cancer markers or blood in the stool (stool-based tests). More high-tech tests involve doing a CT scan. And recently, a new blood test (a ctDNA or liquid biopsy test) has been developed. 

But the gold-standard test for detecting colorectal cancer at its earliest and most treatable stage is a colonoscopy. Let’s take a look at what you can expect before, during and after you have this potentially life-saving procedure.

What can I expect before having a colonoscopy?

Having a clean bowel will give your doctor the best chance of seeing the smallest changes in your colon lining. The smaller a cancer is when it’s detected, the better chance you have of beating it. Of course, your colon isn’t normally nice and clean inside.

Your big assignment before arriving to have your colonoscopy will be a thorough bowel prep. Your doctor will give you instructions to start a special diet a few days before your procedure. Here’s what our partners at NorthEast Digestive Health say to do before your colonoscopy:

2-3 Days before the procedure:

You’ll start the process of cleaning out your colon by eating food that’s easy to digest. This is called a low residue diet.

  • Eat a low-fiber diet. Avoid foods like nuts, seeds, and raw vegetables. You may be required to stop consuming solid foods a day or two before the procedure.
  • Make sure to stay hydrated, drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Take all medications as prescribed.
  • You can eat any type of meat, pasta, rice, and cooked fruits and vegetables (without skins/peels) during these 3 days.
  • No alcohol. It can cause dehydration.

1 Day before the procedure:

Usually you’ll start your bowel prep the day before the colonoscopy. Sometimes your doctor might ask you to start earlier. This is usually the part most people dread. But you can work with your doctor to find a bowel prep that you can tolerate based on how it tastes, how much you have to drink and how long it takes. 

  • The morning before your procedure, have a light breakfast.
  • After breakfast, begin a “clear liquid diet.” This means broth, jello, clear sodas, water, popsicles, Italian ice, juice, gatorade and coffee or tea without creamer. 
  • Keep in mind that none of your clear liquids should be colored red, purple or blue.
  • No dairy is allowed the day before your procedure.
  • Make sure you stay hydrated, drinking plenty of clear liquids.
  • Make sure you finish all of your prep medicines and liquid as instructed.

Your doctor will instruct you on what time to start your bowel prep medications and give specific directions for the prep you’ll be doing. The goal is to have clear liquid stools when you complete the bowel prep.

The morning of the procedure:

You might be a little nervous on the morning of your colonoscopy. But the hard part is really over! Your doctor and nurses do this procedure every day and they’ll take good care of you. This is what to expect the morning of the procedure

  • Your doctor will tell you if you should take your normal medications.
  • You can usually drink small amounts of clear liquids up until 2 hours before your procedure.
  • Someone needs to drive you to your procedure and back home, since you’ll be groggy for a while afterwards.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

Most facilities will check that you have a driver and ask that they stay until the procedure is finished.

What happens during the colonoscopy?

You won’t remember much about the time surrounding your colonoscopy. But this is how the procedure goes:

  • A nurse will check you in and verify who you are and what you’re having done.
  • An anesthesia provider or nurse will start an IV and fluids. 
  • They’ll also attach monitors to make sure your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing are all normal.
  • You’ll be asked to breath through a mask as you receive a sedative and drift off to sleep.
  • Your doctor will use a special camera and light on a long tube to look inside your rectum and colon. The tube also holds surgical instruments that can be used to cut and scrape, if needed.
  • If the doctor sees any areas of concern, they will take biopsies (cut off tiny pieces of colon lining). If they see a polyp (a large finger-like projection from the colon wall), they may decide to remove it.
  • When the doctor has looked at the entire colon, they will remove the tube. Any tissue they removed will be sent to a pathologist to check for cancer.
  • The anesthesia provider will wake you up after the procedure. 
  • After you’re awake and talking, you’ll be allowed to drink some clear liquids.
  • When you’re cleared by the anesthesia provider and your GI doctor, you’ll be discharged from the facility to go home.

What can I expect after I’m discharged?

You’ll start to feel like your old self pretty quickly. Most people are back to normal within a few hours. Here’s what to expect after the procedure:

  • You can begin to eat normally as soon as you feel up to it. Start off with small bites and see how you tolerate the food.
  • You probably won’t feel any pain after a colonoscopy. You might have some nausea, bloating or gas. You might also have a small amount of bleeding from your rectum.
  • Remember to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid alcohol and heavy lifting for a day or two.
  • If you feel bloated or gassy, try taking a walk to help get your bowels moving normally.
  • You should feel back to normal within a few hours and can return to normal activities the next day. 
  • Your doctor should call you within about a week to share your biopsy results. If you haven’t heard from them, call their office and ask for the results.

When should I call my doctor after a colonoscopy?

Most people have no complications after colonoscopy. But there are a few things to look out for, including:

  • Bleeding: A small amount of blood in your first bowel movement is normal. If there’s significant blood or if it continues after the first day, you should alert your doctor.
  • Abdominal pain: Bloating and gas are normal, but severe pain or pain that lasts more than a couple of days is not. 
  • Fever: You should not run a fever after a colonoscopy. If you have a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees, let your doctor know.
  • If you haven’t heard from your doctor’s office within a week, give them a call to get your pathology report. 

Most people need to get a repeat colonoscopy in 10 years. But some people will need one sooner. Make sure you find out when you need to get your next screening.

Bottom Line:

Colonoscopy is the gold-standard for colorectal cancer screening. It takes several days to prepare for, undergo and recover from the colonoscopy procedure. There are several bowel prep options available to you and your doctor. Colonoscopy is a safe, routine and effective screening tool that has been proven to save lives. Recovery is usually quick, easy and uncomplicated. It’s a great way to get checked for colon cancer. Check it for your loved ones. CheckIt4Andretti.

Here’s how you can help us wipe out colon cancer:

Donate to CheckIt4Andretti

Sign up for our newsletter

Take the Colon Cancer Risk Assessment

Follow our blog

Colon Cancer is Going Undetected in Young People

Fast Facts:

  • The number of people under the age of 45 diagnosed with colorectal cancer is going up more than 1% every year. A person under 45 is twice as likely to get colon cancer as a person over 70.
  • Colon cancer is now the #1 cause of cancer death in men under the age of 50, and the #2 cause of cancer death in women in that age group. Young people and their doctors often ignore the subtle warning signs of colorectal cancer.
  • Screening tests like FIT test, virtual colonoscopy and colonoscopy detect colon cancer early, while it’s still curable.  
  • Most people under 45 don’t know to ask for a screening test unless they’re aware of their family history and know the worrisome signs of colorectal cancer.


You might not realize it right now, but your life will most likely be touched by colorectal cancer. Colon cancer statistics are alarming- and they’re only getting worse, especially for younger people. The American Cancer Society states that about 1 in 25 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer in their lifetime. That rate is going down in people over 45 because of awareness and screening. Sadly, the rate is going up in younger people. And colon cancer is more deadly in people under 45. Let’s take a look at what’s happening.

Why is colorectal cancer more deadly in younger people?

We usually think of “older people” as being more frail or less healthy than “young people.” It seems logical they’d have a harder time fighting off colorectal cancer. But the truth of the matter is that younger people, under 45 years old, have an increased risk of getting colon cancer than people over 70. Each year these statistics have gotten better for older adults and worse for younger people. Why?

There are several reasons why the number of diagnoses and the mortality rate (the number of people who die) has gone down in people over 45. Some of the reasons doctors cite include:

  • Routine screening tests starting at age 45 catches cancer early so that it’s more curable.
  • Routine screening tests starting at age 45 find polyps so that they can be removed. They don’t have a chance to turn into cancer.
  • Chemotherapy is better now than 20 years ago. Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy can be used in combination to target different types of colorectal cancer.

There are probably other factors at play. All cancers are a result of complex interactions between a person’s genetics, food and environment.

Why are so many young people getting colon cancer?

Doctors aren’t really sure why more young people are getting all types of colorectal cancer. Some of the factors that increase the risk include:

  • Eating a diet high in processed foods and processed red meats 
  • Increased rates of obesity 
  • Not getting enough exercise  
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol use 
  • Environmental exposure to chemicals
  • Unhealthy Gut bacteria

Another thing to take into account is that people under 45 aren’t advised to get routine screening tests. Unless a young person is aware of the warning signs of colon cancer, and their family history, they won’t be aware of their own risk of colon cancer. That means they won’t know when to talk to their doctor. Remember, screening is one of the major reasons colon cancer rates are dropping in people over 50.

So what are the signs of colorectal cancer in young people?

Signs of colorectal cancer in young people are vague and easily ignored. Oftentimes, if a 30-something tells their doctor of nondescript abdominal symptoms, they’re diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome or a similar GI complaint. Most of the time, it’s not cancer. But the risk of being misdiagnosed can be devastating.

Signs of colon cancer in people under 45 include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling bloated all the time

If you have any of these symptoms, and they don’t get better on their own or with treatment, you should talk to your doctor and insist on a colonoscopy. 

Another tell-tale symptom of colon cancer is having narrow stools. Pencil thin bowel movements, especially if you have any of the other symptoms of colon cancer, can be a red flag. You should talk to your doctor immediately if you notice this symptom.

The Bottom Line

Colon cancer is a preventable and treatable disease. It’s being caught at an earlier stage in people over 45 because of improving screening programs. But the rate is increasing in young people. And the stage they’re being diagnosed is more advanced than in older adults. Young people need to be aware of the signs of colorectal cancer. They need to be aware of their own family and genetic history, too. And they need to talk to their doctor if they think they need to be checked out. Check it for yourself. Check it for your family. CheckIt4Andretti.

Want to help us wipe out colon cancer?

Donate to CheckIt4Andretti

Sign up for our newsletter

Take the Colon Cancer Risk Assessment

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Colon Cancer Screening May Be Easier Than You Think!

Fast Facts:

  • Colon cancer screening has been proven to save lives. But many people don’t get screened because they think the tests are unpleasant, inconvenient or embarrassing.
  • Current guidelines say that everyone over the age of 45 should be screened for colon cancer. And at a younger age if you have risk factors like a family history or certain genetic syndromes.
  • A new blood test called ctDNA (circulating tumor DNA) shows promise for being an accurate and convenient screening test that can be added onto routine blood tests.
  • ctDNA can also be used to help decide whether chemotherapy is needed after surgery. It may help prevent unnecessary treatment or catch recurrent cancer earlier.

If you’ve been reading CheckIt4Andretti’s blog, you already know that colon cancer screening can save lives. You also probably know that gastroenterologists recommend getting screened starting at age 45. Many people mistakenly think that colon cancer screening is too inconvenient, embarrassing or unpleasant, so they just never get around to getting it done. But what if there was a safe, convenient, and accurate blood test that you could get along with your cholesterol test and blood counts? That kind of test could be available very soon. Let’s take a closer look at the ctDNA blood test for colon cancer.

What is ctDNA?

ctDNA is circulating tumor DNA. When normal cells or cancer cells die, small bits of their genetic material (DNA) gets loose in the circulatory system (blood stream). So ctDNA is tumor, or cancer, DNA that has gotten into the bloodstream. Because ctDNA is checking for tumor DNA in the blood, it’s sometimes called a “liquid biopsy.” ctDNA

How does the ctDNA test work?

Doctors have made a special test to tell the difference between normal DNA and cancer DNA. The test is as simple as having your blood drawn. The blood can be taken at the same time as your other lab tests during a routine doctor’s visit. For example, if you’re getting your blood count, cholesterol and electrolytes checked, the doctor will simply send part of the blood for the ctDNA test. The test looks for a specific pattern of DNA that only happens with colon cancer. If there’s any ctDNA present, a more thorough work-up needs to be done to find where it’s coming from. You should never have any ctDNA in your blood (not even a little!)

How good is the ctDNA test?

The ctDNA test for colon cancer is very good. Scientists look at how sensitive a test is. That means that if cancer is present, how likely is the test to pick it up? ctDNA has a 93% sensitivity compared to colonoscopy. Another thing scientists look for in a test is “specificity.” If you test negative (no ctDNA detected), it means you don’t have cancer. The ctDNA test has a 90% specificity. 

ctDNA only picked up about 23% of precancerous lesions (advanced adenomas). Precancerous polyps can be readily seen by colonoscopy. Overall, ctDNA is as good as other stool-based screening tests. People find it more convenient, accessible and easier to complete than other tests. But colonoscopy is still the gold standard for colon cancer screening.

Is ctDNA readily available as a screening test?

Unfortunately, ctDNA is only available in a research setting. The good news is that researchers are working hard to make this test readily available. The ultimate goal is to improve colorectal screening. And since ctDNA is minimally invasive and convenient, it has the potential to make colorectal screening available to people who might otherwise shy away from other tests. 

Are there other uses for ctDNA?

Yes! ctDNA can be used to prevent unnecessary treatment. Imagine finding out you have colon or rectal cancer. Your doctor will talk to you about surgery. And chemotherapy. And maybe radiation therapy. 

Before starting chemotherapy, your doctor might decide to get a ctDNA test. Remember, a negative ctDNA test means that you have no detectable cancer. Based on a negative ctDNA test, you and your doctor might decide to hold off on chemotherapy. You may be able to get ctDNA blood tests every couple of months to make sure the test doesn’t turn positive. You’ve avoided unnecessary treatment!

And if you’ve had surgery and chemotherapy, ctDNA may be used to monitor for colon cancer recurrence in between colonoscopies. The earlier you catch colon cancer or colon cancer recurrence, the more likely you are to beat it.

Want to learn more about ctDNA testing?

If you want to learn more about ctDNA, watch this short video:

The Bottom Line
Colon cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the US. Screening tests should be done beginning at age 45. Catching colon cancer early with screening tests has been proven to save lives. But many people don’t get screened because the tests are inconvenient or unpleasant. ctDNA is a promising new test that is accurate, minimally invasive, easily accessible and convenient. ctDNA isn’t widely available yet, but research is ongoing and hopefully it will be very soon. No matter what test you decide to use, get checked for the people you love. CheckIt4Andretti!

Want to help wipe out colon cancer?
Donate to CheckIt4Andretti

Sign up for our newsletter

Take the Colon Cancer Risk Assessment

Follow our blog

How Polymedco and CheckIt4Andretti are expanding access to guideline-recommended screening solutions

CheckIt4Andretti is proud to collaborate with Polymedco, the producer of OC-Auto FIT and a fellow partner in the mission to expand access to screening. By promoting yearly FIT, Polymedco is working to make screening more effective, accessible, and affordable.


Regular screening is important to make sure colon cancer is caught as early as possible.

Leading health organizations, including the US Preventive Services Task Force, American College of Gastroenterology, and US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, recommend screening with fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) every year.1-3

Polymedco and CheckIt4Andretti are working together to address the gaps in screening rates by increasing access to guideline-recommended solutions at little or no cost to patients. 

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of these effective screening methods that received a primary recommendation by leading experts.


What is OC-Auto FIT?

OC-Auto FIT is an at-home, noninvasive screening solution that looks for non-visible blood in the stool.

  • Performed at home
  • Screens every year, just as doctors would for breast or prostate cancer 
  • No preparation (fasting, laxatives, etc.) required

Why choose OC-Auto FIT?

OC-Auto FIT is the only FIT backed by proven clinical outcomes.4

OC-Auto FIT is the #1 automated noninvasive colon cancer screening solution in the world,5 with excellent performance characteristics in both sensitivity and specificity.Additionally, OC-Auto makes annual screening easier for its users, with a simple collection process that can be completed from the comfort and privacy of home.

OC-Auto FIT enables better health outcomes4

Evidence shows that screening with OC-Auto FIT leads to better outcomes, from increased screening rates to decreased mortality.4

One study of approximately 4 million health plan members evaluated the effects of regular screening with OC-Auto FIT and found significant impacts to screening rates, cancer rates, and number of deaths due to colon cancer.


INCREASE in colon cancer screening rates


DECREASE in annual rate of colon cancer


DECREASE in number of colon cancer deaths

OC-Auto FIT makes screening easy and accessible

By making annual screening as easy as possible, early detection can become a greater reality. That’s why OC-Auto FIT was designed to be patient-friendly, simple-to-use, and available at little or no cost.

90% of patients who used OC-Auto FIT said it was simple or very easy to use7

Screening at home: A simple 3-step collection process

Screening at home with OC-Auto FIT is as easy as 1-2-3!

Step 1 

  • Take the FIT from the privacy of your home
  • Fill out the label with the date and your information
  • Use the sampling wand to collect a small amount of sample
  • Seal sample container inside envelope

Step 2

  • Return your sample
  • Use the provided mailing envelope to return your kit through the US Postal Service OR return to your healthcare provider or the lab as instructed

Step 3

  • Receive results from your provider’s office
  • Your healthcare provider should contact you with your results within a couple of weeks.


With CheckIt4Andretti’s mission to expand screening access and Polymedco’s commitment to accessible, annual at-home screening with OC-Auto FIT, we are working together to ensure every American has access to effective, affordable screening options.

Keep Reading:

Read more about the importance of screening

Complete your annual FIT screening with OC-Auto

Learn more about CheckIt4Andretti’s mission.


  1. Rex DK, Boland CR, Dominitz JA, et al Colorectal cancer screening: recommendations for physicians and patients from the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on colorectal cancer. Am J Gastroenterol. 2017;112(7):1016-1030. doi:10.1038/ ajg.2017.174​
  2. US Preventive Services Task Force, Davidson KW, Barry MJ, et al Screening for colorectal cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2021;325(19):1965-1977. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.6238
  3. Shaukat A, Kahi CJ, Burke CA, et al ACG clinical guidelines: colorectal cancer screening 2021. Am J Gastroenterol. 2021;116(3):458-479. doi:10.14309/ajg.0000000000001122
  4. Levin T, Corley D, et al Effects of organized colorectal cancer screening on cancer incidence and mortality in a large community-based population. Gastroenterology.
  5. Data on file with Polymedco, Inc. (1)
  6. Imperiale TF, Ransohoff DF, Itzkowitz SH, et al Multitarget stool DNA testing for colorectal-cancer screening. N Engl J Med. 2014;370(14):1287-297.doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1311194
  7. Data on file with Polymedco, Inc. (2)

CheckIt4Andretti + OC-Auto® FIT: Making colon cancer screening more effective, accessible, and affordable

CheckIt4Andretti is proud to collaborate with Polymedco, the producer of OC-Auto FIT and a fellow partner in the mission to enhance access to screening. By promoting yearly FIT, Polymedco is working to make screening more effective, accessible, and affordable.


What is colon cancer?

Colon cancer starts as a small growth in the lining of the colon or rectum. Regular screening is important to make sure colon cancer is caught as early as possible.

Colon cancer facts and figures:

Colon cancer has the second-highest death rate among cancers overall and is the leading cause of cancer death in men under 5o.1

  • More than 150,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer annually1,2
  • More than 50,000 people are estimated to lose their lives to colon cancer annually1,2
  • Nearly 20,000 annual colon cancer diagnoses are estimated in people younger than 501

 90% of all colon cancer deaths are preventable if caught early3, but over 4 in 10 adults are not getting screened as recommended.1

  • While rates of colon cancer have been increasing in individuals younger than 55, screening rates remain lowest among people 45-49 years of age.1

Over 40% of adults are not getting screened per current recommendations.1

Who should get screened for colon cancer?

For adults ages 45-75 at average-risk, guidelines from leading professional organizations including the US Preventive Services Task Force, American College of Gastroenterology, and US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer recommend screening with fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) every year4-6

What is FIT?

FIT is a noninvasive colon cancer screening solution that identifies blood in the stool or bleeding in the digestive tract that may have no other signs or symptoms. 

OC-Auto FIT, the brand name of the #1 automated noninvasive colon cancer screening solution in the world,7 is an easy option that can be performed from the comfort of your home and offers annual screening as recommended by experts.4-6

This screening guidance applies to all average-risk adults aged 45-75


  1. Know your risk

While some people may have more risk factors than others, no one is considered “low-risk” when it comes to colon cancer.

Many people with early-stage colon cancer have no symptoms,3 and many colon cancers occur in people with no known risk factors or family history.8,9

  • 3 in 4 people with colon cancer have no known risk factors8
  • 2 in 3 people with colon cancer have no family history9
  • 2. Screen with OC-Auto FIT every year 

Even if you are in generally good health or have no family history, experts suggest all adults 45-75 at average-risk screen annually with OC-Auto FIT4-6 to help find signs of the disease before symptoms appear, allowing patients to get treatment early, and when survival rates are higher.

OC-Auto FIT:

  • Checks for disease every year
    • Detects non-visible blood in the stool
    • Is noninvasive and performed at home

By making annual screening a part of your yearly physical visits, earlier detection can become part of your regular care. That’s why OC-Auto was designed to be patient-friendly, simple to use, and available at little or no cost.

CheckIt4Andretti is proud to join Polymedco in closing the gaps in screening rates by increasing access to guideline-recommended screening solutions.

With CheckIt4Andretti’s mission to expand colonoscopy access and Polymedco’s commitment to accessible, annual at-home screening, we are working together to ensure every American has access to effective, affordable screening options.

Read more about the top recommended colon cancer screening options.

Learn more about CheckIt4Andretti’s mission.


  1. Colorectal cancer facts & figures 2023-2025. American Cancer Society. Accessed January 25, 2023.
  2. Cancer facts & figures 2024.  American Cancer Society. Accessed February 7, 2024.
  3. Tepus M, Yau TO. Non-invasive colorectal cancer screening: an overview. Gastrointest Tumors. 2020;7(3):62-73. doi:10.1159/000507701
  4. US Preventive Services Task Force, Davidson KW, Barry MJ, et al Screening for colorectal cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2021;325(19):1965-1977. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.6238
  5. Shaukat A, Kahi CJ, Burke CA, et al ACG clinical guidelines: colorectal cancer screening 2021. Am J Gastroenterol. 2021;116(3):458-479. doi:10.14309/ajg.0000000000001122
  6. Rex DK, Boland CR, Dominitz JA, et al Colorectal cancer screening: recommendations for physicians and patients from the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on colorectal cancer. Am J Gastroenterol. 2017;112(7):1016-1030. doi:10.1038/ ajg.2017.174​
  7. Data on file with Polymedco, Inc.
  8. Who is at risk for colon cancer? Colon Cancer Coalition. September 22, 2022. Accessed January 12, 2024.
  9. Colorectal cancer risk factors: hereditary colorectal risk factors. American Cancer Society. Accessed January 12, 2024.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month! 

March has been designated Colon Cancer Awareness Month. March 12 would have been racing legend John Andretti’s 61st birthday. Colon cancer claims the lives of over 50,000 Americans every year. This includes legends like John Andretti, Chadwick Boseman, Charles Schultz, Audrey Hepburn and Kirstie Alley.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton recognized that colon cancer was a serious threat to the health of Americans. At that time colon cancer was the second most common cancer in the US. President Clinton and his advisors recognized that colon cancer had few symptoms and the best way to catch it was with early detection. In order to promote screening for colon cancer, President Clinton signed a Presidential Proclamation designating March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.  

President Barack Obama re-dedicated a Presidential Proclamation, again designating March as Colorectal Cancer Month in 2016 and 2017. Presidents Clinton and Obama helped raise awareness about colon cancer and early detection. Thanks to their efforts, March is a time organizations around the world focus on one of the biggest, but frequently preventable, killers.

After John Andretti’s death on January 30, 2020, CheckIt4Andretti Charitable Foundation was born out of the #CheckIt4Andretti screening campaign which started on social media. Since its founding, CheckIt4Andretti foundation has worked with free and charitable clinics to help prevent under-insured Americans from becoming another colon cancer statistic.

Together with our partners, NE Digestive HealthCommunity Care Clinic of Rowan CountySebela Pharmaceutical, and Free and Charitable Clinics of NC, CheckIt4Andretti is taking the mission of screening seriously to save lives. By providing free screening FIT tests to the clinics, we are able to detect patients in need of screening colonoscopies. CheckIt4Andretti then works with our partners to provide colonoscopies free of charge to those who can’t afford them.

CheckIt4Andretti is proud to promote Colon Cancer Awareness Month. If you would like to support us in our efforts here’s how you can help:

Dress in blue for colon cancer awareness. 

The blue ribbon has been officially recognized as the symbol to promote visibility of this deadly disease. Wear the ribbon all year. Dress in blue on March 1.

Donate to CheckIt4Andretti

Help us screen more people and save more lives! Make a donation in honor of someone you love, someone you may have lost or in honor of John Andretti.

Take the screening quiz

Find out if you’re at risk and need to be screened. If you’re over 45 years old, or if you know you’re at increased risk, get a screening done as soon as you can.

Don’t be embarrassed to talk about colon cancer

Talk to your family. Talk to your friends. Talk to your doctor. Talking about your colon may seem embarrassing, but you don’t want to die from not being embarrassed. 

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, but colon cancer is diagnosed every day of every year. Make sure you’re aware of its symptoms and you get checked out. Check it for the ones you love. #CheckIt4Andretti!

Andretti Indoor Karting and CheckIt4Andretti: Fast Friends in the Fight Against Cancer

Andretti Indoor Karting and Games (AIKG) is known for family fun entertainment and celebrations. But when CheckIt4Andretti (CI4A) announced their plans to help save lives by offering free colon cancer screening, AIKG raced in to help.

Eddie Hamman, one of the Managing Partner of AIKG, and John Andretti were great friends from the very beginning of AIKG. When Nancy Andretti, President of CI4A Charitable Foundation, began looking for ideas to help fund the Foundation, Eddie and fellow AIKG Managing Partners, Stan Manousos, and Ed Kennedy, came up with the “Round Up Campaign.”

AIKG locations began asking customers if they’d like to “round up’ their bill at the register. Customers were eager to honor John Andretti’s legacy while helping others in need. 

Eddie Hamman & John Andretti

Having Fun and Saving Lives!

AIKG gives customers an opportunity to celebrate good times and make memories with family and friends. By participating in the round up campaign, customers are also able to help save lives. Every penny raised from the round up campaign has been donated to CheckIt4Andretti Charitable Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to partner with doctors and free clinics to provide free colonoscopies to people who need a colonoscopy but can’t afford it.

A Winning Formula

So what happens when two great organizations team up? You get a winning formula, of course! Since starting the Round Up Campaign in January 2021, AIKG customers have donated $334,541.00. 

All 6 AIKG locations participate in the Round Up campaign. The donations from AIKG customers have helped directly with funding colonoscopies to patients. The effects of these donations are felt in the community. Recently, CI4A was recognized for its positive impact on the community. 

Fast Friends in the Fight Against Cancer

CI4A is grateful for all its donors as well as its medical and corporate partners. Without the support of so many doctors, nurses, volunteers and donors, CheckIt4Andretti wouldn’t be able to fulfill John Andretti’s wish to help those who might miss out on life-saving screening.

When asked about CI4A’s special relationship with AIKG, Nancy Andretti said:

Nancy & John Andretti

Join AIKG and Save Lives

If you live near an Andretti Indoor Karting location, go in for a good time. And ask to round up. If you can’t visit a Karting center, you can still help by donating. If you can’t donate, make sure to get your own colonoscopy if you’re due (over 45 years old.) And get a colonoscopy sooner  if you’re at risk. Check it for the people you love. #CheckIt4Andretti!

CheckIt4Andretti Receives the 2023 Fred and Alice Stanback Silent Angel Award

Jarett Andretti, Krista Woolly Director of the Community Care Clinic, and Nancy Andretti
[Pictured: Jarett Andretti, Krista Woolly Director of the Community Care Clinic, and Nancy Andretti]

The CheckIt4Andretti Foundation was honored to receive the 2023 Fred and Alice Stanback Silent Angel Award

The award is given annually by The Community Care Clinic of Rowan County (CCCRC) to recognize an individual or organization that embodies the legacy of Fred and Alice Stanback. The Stanbacks dedicate their lives to serving others and advocating for the most vulnerable citizens in the community.

Jarett and Nancy Andretti attended the “Community Thanks” event which was hosted in the Peeler Crystal Lounge at Catawba College on November 13. About 200 guests were in attendance for the evening event.

CCCRC Executive Director, Krista Woolly, presented the award. Woolly stated, “John’s wife, Nancy Andretti, has been an amazing advocate for our patients, providing funding for more than 50 colonoscopies to date. She is a living testimony on how to carry on the legacy of a life well lived.” 

Woolly also noted that colonoscopies are expensive and out of the reach of many patients served by CCCRC. CheckIt4Andretti has made screening colonoscopies accessible for more than 50 high-risk, low-income people who are uninsured. She said selecting CheckIt4Andretti as the 2023 Silent Angel recipient was a ‘no-brainer.’ 

CheckIt4Andretti was founded in 2021 to honor racing legend John Andretti. John was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 53. He fought courageously, giving inspiration to the #CheckIt4Andretti hashtag and prompting thousands of people to get screened. His legacy lives on through the foundation.

When asked what the award meant, CheckIt4Andretti President, Nancy Andretti, said, “The Silent Angel Award means so much to me personally and I was honored to accept it on behalf of the CheckIt4Andretti Foundation. In just 2 short years we have been able to make an impact on our community by donating over 50 colonoscopies to those in need. It is gratifying and humbling to be recognized by this wonderful community and I am grateful to continue the work started by my husband John, in whose memory this foundation was started.”  

You can read the full story about the evening and the award here.

If you would like to support John’s memory and help community members get screened, please donate today.

Bowel Prep For Colonoscopy May Be Easier Than You Think!

Fast Facts:

  • The goal of a bowel prep is to completely clean out your colon so the doctor can see every part to check for signs of cancer (or other disease).
  • One of the main reasons people say they avoid a recommended colonoscopy is the reluctance to do the bowel prep.
  • There are modifications for traditional bowel preps, including flavorings and reduced volumes, that can make them more tolerable. There are also newer preps that use pills and water, which avoid the main complaints people have about bowel preps.
bowel prep sutab

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the US. And colon cancer is on the rise in younger people. Last year the CDC recommended dropping the age to get your first screening from 50 to 45. Screening tests, such as a colonoscopy, have been shown to reduce the occurrence of colon cancer.

But, you may be avoiding your recommended colonoscopy because you’ve heard the bowel prep is awful. 

There are lots of reasons to want to avoid it altogether: It tastes horrible! I can’t drink a gallon of liquid! All that time on the toilet! 

Well, doctors can’t make the time on the toilet any shorter. A good, clean bowel is the key to a good colonoscopy. But, bowel preps have gotten easier over the past few years. Let’s take a look at which option might be best for you.

What’s in a Bowel Prep Kit?

All types of prep kits rely on an osmotic laxative and electrolytes to help you clear your bowels (poop). The laxative can’t be absorbed by your body, so it stays in your gut and draws water to it. As the water volume builds up in your gut, it causes the bowel to stretch. Stretching is a signal to your bowels to empty. That’s why you have the urge to have a bowel movement.

Since you’re dumping large amounts of water along with the laxative and stool, you have to replace the electrolytes that go along for the ride. 

PEG (polymer-based) Bowel Preps

PEG (or polyethylene glycol 335)-based bowel preps are the most commonly used. They’re inexpensive and are very effective. 

PEG bowel preps include:

  • Miralax
  • GoLytely
  • CoLyte
  • Halflytely
  • Others

Sometimes people don’t finish the prep because they can’t tolerate the taste or they aren’t able to drink all the liquid.

The good news is that there are modifications that make PEG preps more tolerable. For example, there are flavoring packets that you can add to the laxative. Or you may be able to mix the laxative with a clear, non-carbonated drink of your choice (think Gatorade or Propel).

And some of the prep regimens add a second laxative such as bisacodyl (Dulcolax) so that the volume of liquid you have to drink is reduced. Sometimes the amount you drink can be cut in half.

Sodium Phosphate-based (NaP) Bowel Preps

Just like with PEG-based preps, these use an osmotic laxative. In this case the laxative is a chemical called sodium phosphate. 

Some of the NaP-based kits include:

The advantage of NaP-based bowel preps is that they come in a pill form. You still have to drink a significant amount of water in a short period of time. But the taste is not an issue. The volume of liquid is also smaller. Many people report being better able to complete the prep as directed.

NaP preps are as effective as PEG preps. Because NaP contains certain salts, they may cause some stomach irritation. They may not be the best choice for people with some medical conditions. Your doctor can help you decide if they are right for you.


There are a number of things to consider when deciding on which bowel prep to use. Talk to your doctor ahead of time, so you can make an informed decision. Some of the topics you should address are:

  • Taste
  • How much can you drink?
  • Medical conditions you may have
  • Does your insurance cover the cost of the prep or will it be out of pocket?
  • Does your doctor have a standard prep? Most will offer different options if you ask. They will give you a complete set of instructions for whichever one you use.
  • Which prep are you most likely to completely follow the directions with?

Remember, if you are unable to fully clear your bowels, there’s a good chance you might have to be rescheduled. Your doctor relies on being able to see your bowel clearly to assess abnormal areas. If there’s a little bit of stool in your bowels, they may be able to wash it away. If there’s a lot of stool, they’ll ask you to prep again and come back another day.

The Bottom Line

A good, clean bowel prep is essential for a good colonoscopy. The best prep is the one whose directions you can follow completely. Talk to your doctor about which one is right for you. The most important thing is that you get checked when it’s time. Check it for the people who love you. CheckIt4Andretti!

Here is a short video with some tips for having a good bowel prep. Remember, these are just tips. Always follow your own doctor’s exact instructions.