Screening reduces risk
Screening is the number one way you can reduce your risk of colon cancer and rectal cancer. Despite its high incidence, colorectal cancer is unique in that it is one of the most preventable and, if found early, most treatable forms of cancer. And the best part is, screening is easy! From colonoscopy to at-home stool tests, there’s an option for everyone. According to the American Cancer Society, if you are over 45, high risk, or symptomatic, don’t put it off. Talk to your doctor about getting checked!
Who should be screened and when
- ALL MEN AND WOMEN should be screened for colon cancer beginning at age 50, if not earlier.
- FAMILY HISTORY OF COLORECTAL CANCER People with personal or family history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or experiencing symptoms are considered “high risk”.
- SHOWING SIGNS & SYMPTOMS If you’re exhibiting signs and symptoms, regardless of age or family history, you should be screened.
Colorectal cancer is unique in that it is one of the most preventable and, if found early, most treatable forms of cancer. While screening is the most important step you can take to prevent colorectal cancer, it’s not the only one.
From making changes in your diet to knowing your family’s health history, it’s never too early to start making the small choices that really pay off. Start today by taking our colorectal cancer risk quiz, learning more about genetics and family history or finding the screening test that’s right for you.
Genetics and family history
The majority of colorectal cancer patients do not have a family history or genetic connection to the disease. This is when the cancer occurs by chance, and is often called “sporadic cancer.”
However, in some families, we see more cancer than we would expect. About one in four patients have a family history of colorectal cancer that could suggest a genetic and/or hereditary factor.
A family history of colorectal cancer, that is, an immediate family member (parent, brother, sister) or multiple family members with colorectal cancer or polyps, puts you at an increased risk for the disease.