Early detection is vital, over 90% of all cases of colon cancer can be prevented with recommended screening. Despite its high incidence, colon cancer is one of the most detectable and, if found early enough, most treatable forms of cancer.
If you’re 45 or older, getting a screening test for colon cancer could save your life. Here’s how: Colon cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum. A polyp is a growth that shouldn’t be there. Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer. A screening colonoscopy can find polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. A screening colonoscopy can also find colon cancer early. When it is found early, the chance of being cured is good.
You should begin screening for colorectal cancer soon after turning 50 and then keep getting screened regularly, we recommend every 5 years. Some people are at a higher risk than others for developing colorectal cancer. Having any of these things may increase your risk—
- Inflammatory bowel disease.
- A personal or family history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.
- Genetic syndromes, like familial adenomatous polyposis or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (also known as Lynch syndrome).
If you think you may be at high risk for colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor about when and how often to get tested.