Why Should You Have a Screening for Colorectal Cancer?
How exactly do we keep our colon in ideal health? You're certainly not alone if you’ve ever wondered where to begin when it comes to maintaining your colon health. Physical activity, good nutrition, and preventive health evaluations are just a few approaches you can take to monitor your health as you get older. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common yet avoidable cancers due to the tests that are available for catching this health concern. Taking charge of your colon health could be as easy as scheduling an appointment at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC. Our gastroenterology team in Hattiesburg, MS can help you take the first step toward a future of health.
Why are colon cancer screenings so important?
The American Cancer Society (ACS) reports that colorectal cancer affects around 4% of women and men in the U.S., which represents about 1 in 25 people. The good news is that colon and rectal cancer can often be avoided when it is found in the early stages.
The majority of colon and rectal cancers arise as a growth (clump of cellular material) on the inner wall of the colon (large intestine) or rectum. Such growths are called polyps. It is uncommon to experience symptoms when you have polyps, indicating that a colorectal cancer screening is critical for catching them. By scheduling exams, you’re helping to maintain your GI health by getting any polyps excised before they turn cancerous. It is also crucial, however, to have a colon cancer screening if you’ve experienced any of the following:
- Alterations in bowel habits
- Pain in the abdomen
- Change in stool form or color
- Anal bleeding
Why is colon cancer so common?
While there isn't a clear answer to why colorectal cancer has increased in prevalence over the years, a number of factors may heighten the disease. Staying well-informed and understanding the risk factors associated with this cancer can allow you to remain observant and make better choices for your future health. Some of the risk factors for colon cancer are:
- A personal history of colon cancer
- Use of tobacco products
- Genetic history of colon or rectal cancer
- A diet that includes a lot of processed meat
- A low-fat and high-fat diet
- Having inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease)
- Lack of physical activity
- A diet lacking fruits and vegetables
Please request an appointment with a Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC gastrointestinal specialist. Our Hattiesburg, MS providers can explain more about colorectal cancer and how you can move toward a future of health.
How often should you have a colon cancer test?
It is recommended that you undergo your first colon screening starting at 45 years of age if you’re at an average risk for developing colon cancer and then each decade as you age. The chance of polyps and colorectal cancer increases as you age, which means that the more often you undergo colon cancer testing, the earlier a problem can be found. Beginning at 75 years of age, you’ll require a test dependent upon your general health condition and your GI doctor’s advisement.
Having a family history or personal history of polyps or colorectal cancer puts you in the category of significantly higher risk. If you fall into this significant high risk category, you’ll likely need to undergo a colonoscopy procedure at least once every five years. It's much better to understand the condition of your colon health and wellness rather than to question whether you should set up a consultation. A routine test for colon cancer, better known as a colonoscopy, typically takes less than 60 minutes to complete. This assessment is a great way to learn the current status of your colon in addition to any modifications that might be needed to keep your colon healthy in the future.
Schedule a colon cancer screening in Hattiesburg, MS today
A routine colon cancer screening with Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC can help safeguard your future health and wellness. As indicated by the American Cancer Society, around 144,000 new cases of colorectal cancer get are diagnosed each year. Help minimize that statistic today by arranging for a colon cancer test with our Hattiesburg, MS gastroenterology team. Should you have concerns or questions about the screening, we invite you to discuss them with your gastrointestinal specialist at your appointment.