There’s no denying that colon cancer is one of the deadliest and most common forms of cancer in the United States. But did you know that it is also one of the easiest to detect? What’s more, if detected early, colon cancer is one of the most treatable—or even beatable—types of cancer.
Such has prompted health experts to increase their efforts to shine a spotlight on the importance of routine colon cancer screening, specifically for people with strong risk factors for the disease.
However, for people who are at low risk for colon cancer but just want to be proactive about their health, the awareness of its prevalence can pose a question as to whether screening is a must for everyone or if they should have it done as well. If you’re one of those people, here’s what you need to know.
Should You Get Screened?
If you’re in your 20s or 30s, you typically do not need colon cancer screening unless any of the following circumstances applies to you:
- You have tests or workups that indicate a good reason for further evaluation of your colon.
- You’re diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease).
- You have a personal or family history of the disease.
- You have a genetic syndrome, such as Lynch syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
Additionally, you should talk to your GI doctor if you belong to one of the age groups for which CDC has recommended routine screening.
Colon Cancer Screening Recommendations
According to the CDC’s guidelines for colon cancer screening, people need to get screened starting at age 45 and at regular intervals thereafter, until they reach 75.
For people above 76 years but below 85 years, the decision to be screened is often entirely based on their life expectancy, overall health, personal preferences, and prior screening history. A GI doctor can guide patients through this decision. People over the age 85 no longer need to get screened.
Colon Cancer Screening in Westlake, OH
If you think you may be at an increased risk for colon cancer, consult one of our board-certified gastroenterologists here at North Shore Gastroenterology & Endoscopy Centers. We will do a thorough evaluation to determine when you should begin screening, how often you should do it, and which test (i.e., colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, etc.) is suitable for you.
To arrange an appointment for colon cancer screening or for a consultation with one of our GI specialists, call us at (440) 808-1212 or fill out this appointment request form. We look forward to helping you stay on top of your digestive health!