African American males are at a higher risk and should get screened earlier than the suggested age of 50.
Colorectal cancer is deadly. Among cancers, only lung cancer kills more Americans each year than this largely preventable disease.
Colorectal cancer does not discriminate. This disease affects men and women equally. Those diagnosed with the disease often experience no noticeable symptoms.
The good news is that if everyone, aged 50 or older, underwent regular colorectal screenings, at least 60% of deaths from this cancer could be avoided.
About 5% to 10% of people who develop colorectal cancer have inherited the gene from a family member.
Last year in the US, around 135,430 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and about 50,260 people died from the disease.
The American Cancer Society identified Missouri as a "hot spot" for colon cancer in America, meaning the death rate from colon cancer in the state is unnecessarily high. Screening, improving your diet and getting more exercise could help reduce your risk.
Screen and survive: Five-year survival rates for Stage I colon cancer can be as high as 92 percent. That's why screening and early detection are so important.
Watching your weight matters when it comes to preventing colon cancer. Overweight or obese men have a 50% higher risk of developing colon cancer than those who aren't. Overweight or obese women are at 20% higher risk for developing colon cancer.
You can reduce your risk of developing colon cancer by about one-third by getting regular exercise, avoiding tobacco use, limiting alcohol consumption and eating a healthy diet.
Southeast Gastroenterology recommends everyone obtain a colonoscopy by age 50. Individuals, under age 50, who have a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors, should have a colonoscopy as well. The following factors indicate an elevated risk for colon cancer:
Are you over the age of 50?
- Do you have a family history of colon cancer?
- Do you have a family member with a history of colon polyps?
- Do you have a change in bowel habit?
- Do you have (or have you ever had) rectal bleeding?
So are you at risk? Take our free, online health risk assessment to find out or call Southeast Gastroenterology at 573-331-7910 to schedule your colonoscopy.