Colorectal cancer: The importance of getting screened
Colorectal cancer – sometimes called colon cancer – is one of the leading cancer killers in the United States. It doesn’t have to be! Starting at age 45, getting screened for colorectal cancer can significantly minimize the severity of this disease.
Colorectal cancer affects both men and women, and the risk increases the older you get. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. These tests can also find colorectal cancer early, which means treatment is often more successful.
Did you know?
Only 68.8% of adults aged 50 to 75 years are up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening, according to the CDC.
There are several options when it comes to colorectal cancer screening, including:
- Stool tests, most of which can be performed at home
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy, which uses a short, lighted tube to check for polyps or cancer inside the rectum and lower third of the colon
- Colonoscopy, which is similar to a sigmoidoscopy, but checks for polyps or cancer within the entire colon. Another test can be performed using x-rays and computers instead of a lighted tube, and is called a CT Colonography.
Not every test is right for each person – speak to your MaxHealth doctor about which one is the best choice for you, and how often you should be screened.