Dr. Dukandar writes column for SCENE Magazine

“When COVID-19 gripped the country, screenings plummeted nearly 90%. And more importantly, diagnoses fell by more than 30%. As the pandemic continues to impact our communities, people are cautious about going anywhere that isn’t necessary. This is undoubtedly a smart approach. However, for the vast majority of the population, the risk of skipping a cancer test is far greater than the risk of getting a colonoscopy.”

Jasmine Dukandar, MD, one of our newest gastroenterologists in Sarasota, recently wrote a column for SCENE Magazine. She took the opportunity to educate the community about Colorectal Cancer. Click here to read the full article here and learn more about colorectal cancer below.

Colorectal cancer stats

  • The American Cancer Society’s estimates 104,270 new cases of colon cancer and 45,230 new cases of rectal cancer in 2021.
  • While colorectal cancer incidence rates in people 55 years or older are consistently dropping, rates are increasing by 2% each year in those younger than 55.
  • In fact, 11% of colon cancer diagnoses and 18% of rectal cancer diagnoses occur in those under 50.
  • Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 23 (4.4%) for men and 1 in 25 (4.1%) for women.
  • In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and in women, and the second most common cause of cancer deaths when men and women are combined.

What to do?

  • 90 percent of all colorectal cancer cases and deaths are preventable by removing polyps and cancer can be successfully treated — and often cured — when detected early.
  • Routine screening tests can help prevent colorectal cancer and can detect the disease in its early stages when it is more easily treated.
  • Get screened! If you’re at an average risk, start talking to your gastroenterologist at around age 45 about screening options. If you’re at high risk, you may need to get screened sooner.


  • Rectal bleeding
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Vague abdominal pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Change in caliber of stool

Risk factors

  • Age (50+)
  • Family history
  • Gender (men are at greater risk)
  • History of IBD
  • Race
  • Lifestyle (smoking, obesity, lack of physical exercise, diet, poor nutrition)