Colon cancer screening, as a critical tool for the prevention of the disease, has been recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for adults starting at age 45. The goal of colon cancer screening is to detect abnormal tissue growths (polyps) in the colon and remove them before they become cancer.
Unfortunately, we are still far from hitting the target. In 2018 alone, only approximately 68 percent of American adults were up to date with colon cancer screening.
If you’re among the many people who are either not aware of the importance of colon cancer screening or who have not felt the urgency thereof, here are compelling reasons to talk to your gastroenterologist (GI doctor) about getting screened for colon cancer today.
Early Detection Translates into Better Quality of Life and Longevity
All types of colon cancer originate in small, benign polyps. While most of these lesions never turn into cancer, some can. As stated, if they are removed early in their development, your likelihood of developing colon cancer is also reduced.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that classic symptoms—such as weight loss, bloody stools, changes in bowel habits, among others—typically develop when colon cancer has already advanced or metastasized. In such phase, colon cancer is already much more difficult to treat.
Many types of colon cancers can be prevented or mitigated when detected early through routine screening. With early detection, colon cancer is treatable and may even be curable, and you can still go on to live a normal life.
Preventive Strategies for People with Genetic Risk Factors
Cancer experts at the Cleveland Clinic state that this type of cancer may be inherited from your either of your parents–just as eye color and skin tone are. Sadly, these genetically linked colon cancers tend to grow more quickly and begin earlier in life. Accordingly, screening with colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or fecal occult blood tests should start earlier for those with genetic risk factors.
Genetic panel testing is also now readily available. This easy assessment catches the gene mutations that increase a person’s risk for colorectal cancer. With this information, doctors can recommend effective preventive measures going forward.
Colon Cancer Screening in Westlake and Brooklyn, OH
At North Shore Gastroenterology & Endoscopy, our board-certified GI doctors are highly equipped to handle all types of digestive conditions—including colon cancer. They can advise you on the best time to undergo colon cancer screening and recommend the most appropriate method for you. We will be happy to answer all of your questions and address your concerns about the condition itself and the screening methods, so you can be confident in your healthcare decisions.
To see one of our GI doctors, call us at (440) 808-1212, or simply use our appointment request form.