Below are 5 reasons why you should get a colon cancer screening:
- Age: Your risk of developing colon cancer increases as you get older, especially after the age of 45. Although younger adults can also be diagnosed, the incidence of colon cancer is rising among those under 45 and the reason is not clear.
- Personal History of Polyps or Cancer: A history of adenomatous polyps increases the risk of colon cancer, especially if the polyps are large, numerous, or show dysplasia. After polyps are detected, your gastroenterologist will recommend a screening schedule based on your individual risk. If you are overdue, schedule a colonoscopy today.
- Family History of Polyps or Cancer: Up to one-third of colon cancer patients have a family history of the disease. Having a first-degree relative with colon cancer or a history of adenomatous polyps increases the risk of developing colon cancer.
- Personal History of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease increase the risk of colon cancer. Those with IBD may need to start screening earlier and be screened more frequently.
- Symptoms: Early colon cancer generally does not have symptoms, but if you experience any of the following, you should see a gastroenterologist:
- Blood in stool
- Unexpected weight loss
- Rectal bleeding
- Abdominal pain