Justin Maykel on colorectal cancer: The key is prevention

New CDC reports shows that not enough adults are being screened

By Bryan Goodchild and Ellie Castano

UMass Medical School Communications

November 13, 2013

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer among men and women in the United States, second only to lung cancer. Unfortunately, about one in three adults between 50 and 75 years old are not getting tested as recommended, according to a new report issued by the Centers for Disease Control. 

“There are more than 20 million adults in this country who haven’t had any recommended screening for colorectal cancer and who may therefore get cancer and die from a preventable tragedy. Screening for colorectal cancer is effective and can save your life,” said CDC director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH.

In this Expert’s Corner video, Justin A. Maykel, MD, assistant professor of surgery and chief of colon and rectal surgery at UMass Memorial Medical Center, talks about the importance of screening for colorectal cancer, which is almost entirely preventable.

“About 90 percent of colon cancer is preventable and we have screening modalities such as colonoscopy to help prevent it,” said Dr. Maykel. “The key to the whole thing is prevention.”