Delaying routine screenings can cause larger issues when it comes to your health. Getting regular screenings can check your body for cancer before you have symptoms and find signs of disease early when cancer is most treatable.
Although COVID-19 continues to be a top health concern, routine health care is still important. Our medical team continues to stress the importance of taking care of your health by getting regular cancer screenings, including screenings for colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests also can find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best.
According to the CDC,
- If you are age 50 to 75 years old, you should get screened for colorectal cancer.
- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening beginning at age 50. Some groups recommend starting earlier, at age 45.
- The vast majority of new cases of colorectal cancer (about 90%) occur in people who are 50 or older.
- Millions of people in the United States are not getting screened as recommended. They are missing the chance to prevent colorectal cancer or find it early when treatment often leads to a cure.
- If you think you may be at increased risk for colorectal cancer, learn your family health history and ask your doctor if you should begin screening before age 50.
- A screening test is used to look for a disease when a person doesn’t have symptoms. (When a person has symptoms, diagnostic tests are used to find out the cause of the symptoms.)
- Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early when treatment works best.
When Should I Begin to Get Screened?
Most people should begin screening for colorectal cancer soon after turning 50, then continue getting screened at regular intervals. However, you may need to be tested earlier than 50, or more often than other people, if—
- You or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.
- You have an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
- You have a genetic syndrome.
If you think you are at increased risk for colorectal cancer, speak with your doctor about—
- When to begin screening.
- Which test is right for you.
- How often to get tested.
To schedule an appointment, contact Phelps Medical Group, 308.995.6111.