Colorectal Cancer Awareness: Screening Guidelines and Risk Factors

Colorectal cancer is a significant health concern, being one of the most common cancers worldwide. Early detection through regular screening and understanding of risk factors can save lives. When colorectal cancer is detected early, it is typically easier to treat and can be prevented from becoming a more severe issue. It’s important to understand colorectal cancer screening guidelines and what risk factors you may have that may adjust these guidelines.

Understanding The Importance of Colorectal Cancer Screenings

Typically, colorectal cancer screening will start around the age of 45. This is done for adults with an average risk and will usually be performed through a colonoscopy. This is recommended every 10 years if the results come back normal. This allows your gastroenterologist to detect and remove any polyps before they develop into cancer.

Individuals with a higher risk, such as those with a family history of colorectal cancer, may need to begin screening earlier, often at age 40 or even younger. It’s important to discuss what your risk factors are and have an understanding of when it’s time to get screened for colon cancer.

Risk factors include:

  • Being over the age of 50
  • Family history
  • Personal history
  • Genetic syndromes
  • Diets high in red and processed meats
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Smoking and alcohol use

If you do have several risk factors, it’s important to get screened as recommended by your doctor and make lifestyle changes to adjust your risk factors. This could mean changing your diet and engaging in regular physical activity. When you take care of your body, you’re helping lower your risk of serious complications that you could deal with in the future.

Contact Our Gastroenterologist Today

Make sure you’re staying vigilant by knowing when to screen for colorectal cancer. Contact your gastroenterologist to find out if you’re due for your next screening.

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