The Bismarck Cancer Center (BCC) allows patients in our area to receive state-of-the-art cancer treatment and caring support while staying close to home and loved ones. We have a highly-skilled and compassionate team of radiation therapists, medical physicists, nurses and dosimetrists working with your radiation oncologist to care for you during your treatment.
Bismarck Cancer Center
Colorectal Cancer


Colorectal cancer is one of the more common cancers in the US. About 1 in 20 Americans will develop colon cancer at some point during their lifetime.  It is a disease in which cells in the colon or rectum become abnormal and divide without control, forming a mass called a tumor. North Dakota has over 365 newly diagnosed cases of colorectal cancer each year and even more staggering, approximately 135 of them will die from the disease.  Colorectal cancer is the fourth most diagnosed cancer in North Dakota.

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

-Bleeding from the rectum, or blood in stool

-Change in bowel habits

-General problems in the abdomen, such as bloating, fullness/cramps

-Weight loss for no apparent reason


Screening Test



Adults, beginning at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years

The USPSTF recommends screening for colorectal cancer using fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy in adults, beginning at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years. The risks and benefits of these screening methods vary.  

Adults age 76 to 85 years

The USPSTF recommends against routine screening for colorectal cancer in adults 76 to 85 years of age. There may be considerations that support colorectal cancer screening in an individual patient. 

Adults older than age 85 years

The USPSTF recommends against screening for colorectal cancer in adults older than age 85 years



Here are 6 ways to help protect your colon health:

  1. Get screened for colon cancer. Screenings are tests that look for cancer before signs and symptoms develop. Colon screenings can often find growths called polyps that can be removed before they turn into cancer.
  2. Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Diets that include lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains have been linked with a decreased risk of colon cancer.
  3. Get regular exercise. If you are not physically active, you have a greater chance of developing colon cancer. Increasing your activity may help reduce your risk.
  4. Watch your weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of getting and dying from colon cancer.
  5. Don’t smoke. Long-term smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop and die from colon cancer.
  6. Limit alcohol. Colon cancer has been linked to heavy drinking. The American Cancer Society recommends no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.

The good news?  If found at an early stage, colorectal cancer’s 5-year survival rate is 90%.  Routine testing can help prevent colorectal cancer or find it earlier when it’s smaller and easier to treat.  Many more lives could be saved by understanding the risks, increasing screening rates, and making healthy lifestyle changes.  The links between diet, weight, and exercise and colon cancer risk are some of the strongest for any type of cancer.

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