The American Cancer Society and U.S. Preventive Services Task Force updated their guidelines and now recommend that people at average risk for colon cancer
begin screening at age 45.
If you are not familiar, the American Cancer Society reports that colon cancer is the third leading cause of death in the United States and more than 52,000 people will die from it this year. The ironic thing is that it’s one of the most preventable cancers due to the success rate of screenings, particularly colonoscopy. Colon cancer almost always develops from pre-cancerous polyps in the colon. Screening tests can find these polyps and they can be removed BEFORE they turn into cancer. And oftentimes, colon cancer doesn’t show a sign until it’s progressed to later stages, so regular screenings can catch cancer early, when treatment works best.
The screening age was reduced from 50 to 45 due to new research showing that more young people are being diagnosed and dying because they were not getting tested until the onset of symptoms. When that many lives are impacted, people listen and guidelines are changed.
Are you ready to schedule your appointment, yet? We get it. Preventive screenings may not be at the top of your to-do list; however, here are 4.5 reasons to pick up the phone and make the appointment.
1. Your insurance likely covers the cost because it’s preventive care. Insurance companies understand that it’s less costly to cover the screening, than have to cover the cost associated with cancer treatment.
2. There are numerous screening options, you can find one that’s right for you. Colonoscopy is the gold standard, but any screening is better than nothing. Learn more about the options now
3. The American Cancer Society reports that most colorectal cancers are found in people without
a family history of colorectal cancer. That said, as many as one in three people who develop colorectal cancer have other family members who have had it. If it’s a first-degree relative, that’s one factor not in your favor. If that person was diagnosed before the age of 50, that’s another one.
4. If you have a screening that results in a cancer diagnosis, you’re in excellent hands. We have fellowship-trained, experienced colon and rectal surgeons, general surgeons and oncologists in our community who treat cancer every day. We got you.
4.5 It could save your life. Enough said.
Please, consider your options. We’ve seen what cancer can do to patients and their families. If that can be avoided at little to no cost, why not take that step and get screened?
To schedule an appointment, contact your primary care provider or call Prevea Digestive Health