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Gastro Health
4 Things You Should Know About Colon Cancer
Gastro Health
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4 Things You Should Know About Colon Cancer

4 Things You Should Know About Colon Cancer

Most people go through life without much thought of colon health. Though there may be jokes and puns aplenty, the state of your colon is not something to take lightly. Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States among men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For men, the risk is greater. The only way to change this statistic is to make your health a priority, take preventative measures and schedule your colon cancer screening colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a lifesaving procedure. Early detection and the removal of polyps before they become malignant prevents the development of cancer and saves lives. Here is what you should know:

#1: Colon Cancer is Common

Colon cancer is extremely common. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF) has lowered the colorectal cancer screening age to 45. This means all people at average risk should start screening for colon cancer at age 45. During the procedure, your gastroenterologist will look for growths that look like cancer or could become cancer. If caught early, colon cancer’s five-year survival rate is 90 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

#2 Colon Cancer Runs in Families

If you have a family history of colon cancer, you have a higher chance of being diagnosed. If a first-degree relative was diagnosed with colon cancer before age 65, a colonoscopy is necessary once you are 10 years younger than they were upon being diagnosed.

#3 Colon Cancer May Not Have Symptoms

There are often no symptoms associated with colorectal cancer. If detected in the early stages, colorectal cancer is usually treatable and beatable. A colonoscopy may prevent cancer from developing by finding and removing precancerous polyps.

#4 Colonoscopies are Simple and Noninvasive

No matter your reason for needing a colonoscopy, it’s a simple procedure, not surgery. The preparation – skipping solid food for one day and taking a bowel prep – may cause anxiety, but it’s improved over time. Additionally, there aren’t many preventable cancers. Colon cancer is one of the few that can be prevented so, while a colonoscopy may not sound fun, it’s much easier and more comfortable than dealing with cancer.

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