How colon cancer screening can save your life
Why should you get checked?
Colon cancer is one of the few cancers that can be stopped in its tracks. But to stop it, you need to get checked. This is called screening. Screening tests are done when you are feeling healthy.
Here is the deal: Some people get growths, called polyps, in their colon. They don’t hurt. In fact, you usually don’t feel them. But sometimes polyps turn into cancer. Luckily, screening tests for colon cancer can help find polyps before they become cancerous. The good news is that polyps can be removed easily.
Colon cancer screening tests can find the disease early. Even if a polyp has turned into cancer, it can be treated. The easiest way to treat and cure colon cancer is when it is found early. That’s why you need to get checked regularly to keep your colon healthy.
When should you get checked?
It’s time to get checked if
- you are 50 or older OR
- you have a high risk of getting colon cancer
Get checked when you are healthy to find colon cancer early and stop it in its tracks. Talk to your doctor about getting checked.
What does high risk mean?
Anyone can get colon cancer. But some people are more likely to get it than others. That means they have a higher risk.
- someone in your family has had colon polyps or colon cancer
- you’ve had colon polyps before
- you have inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
If you have a family history of colon cancer, you may need to get checked before age 50. A colonoscopy may be how you get checked. Talk to your doctor about your family history and find out which test is right for you.