Don’t Put Off Your Health
It's too personal to talk about.
I don't understand how the test works.
I'll get tested if I start feeling bad.
I'm scared they'll find something.
I'm not old enough to get colon cancer.
These are some of the things people tell themselves to avoid getting screened for colon cancer. But if you're 50 years or older, have a personal or family history that puts you at greater risk, or experience symptoms at any age, you should be screened.
Screen for Life
The benefits of screening are well documented and can be life saving.
- Screening can help stop cancer before it starts by catching polyps before they become cancerous.
- When caught early, colon cancer is more easily treated and can be cured.
Make regular screening part of a healthy lifestyle. Talk to your doctor about getting screened for colon cancer.
Make a Plan for Colon HealthStarting at age 50, make a plan to get screened using one of the following methods:
- Every 10 years: Have a colonoscopy, and have all non-cancerous polyps removed.
- Every 5 years: Have a flexible sigmoidoscopy, double-contrast barium enema or computed tomographic colonography (virtual colonoscopy).
No matter how old you are, see a doctor immediately if you are experiencing symptoms.
If you have a personal or family history of cancer, colorectal polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, breast, uterine, endometrial cancer, or some other cancers of the GI tract or female reproductive system, talk to your doctor about early screening. More frequent testing may be appropriate.
Talking to Your Doctor about Screening is Easier than You Think
Starting a conversation with your doctor about colon cancer screening may sound uncomfortable, but it’s a conversation that can save your life.
Remember that colon cancer is preventable and easy to treat when detected early. So talk with your healthcare provider about what kind of screening is right for you.