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Tuesday, 15 October 2019 22:01

Who Should Be Screened For Colorectal Cancer?

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Who Should Be Screened For Colorectal Cancer?

Of all the cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Because colorectal cancer almost always begins as a precancerous polyp, regular screening is important for early detection. If a screening finds abnormal growths, they can be removed before they become cancerous. If cancerous growths are found, early treatment can improve long-term recovery rates.

Because your risk of getting colorectal cancer increases as you get older and more than 90% of cases occur in people who are 50 years old or older, regular screening for colon cancer should begin at age 50 for most people. However, there are exceptions, including:

Having a family history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer
Having a genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome)

There are several tests that your doctor may perform to screen for colorectal cancers, including stool tests, colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and CT colonography. Adults aged 76 to 85 should ask their doctor if they should be screened.

What are the Risk Factors For Colorectal Cancer?

In addition to a family history, lifestyle factors may increase the risk of colorectal cancer, including:
  •   Low rates of physical activity
  •   A diet low in fruit and vegetables.
  •   A diet that is high in fat and low in fiber diet, or high in processed meats
  •   Being overweight or obese
  •   Drinking alcohol
  •   Smoking
Have questions about screening for colorectal cancer? Your doctor can help answer questions such as when to begin screening, which test is right for you, and how often to get tested. Most insurance plans and Medicare will help pay for colorectal cancer screening for people who are 50 years old or older.

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