Colorectal cancer screening is essential and lifesaving. In the U.S., colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cancer, yet it is also one of the most preventable. It’s highly treatable and often curable when caught early. If you’re 45 or older, get screened. If you’re at high risk, you may need to start sooner.
Screening is the #1 way to prevent colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer usually begins as a benign polyp in the lining of the colon or rectum. Polyps are common. Your gastroenterologist can spot and remove polyps during a colonoscopy before they progress to invasive cancer, which can occur over time and is more likely as the polyps increase in size.
REGARDLESS of age, talk to your gastroenterologist about new or worrying symptoms, even those that seem hard to share, including:
Your risk of getting colorectal cancer increases as you get older. Other risk factors include:
Colorectal cancer doesn’t usually cause symptoms until late stages, so proactive screening starting at age 45 is one of the only ways to detect these types of cancers.