February is National Cancer Prevention Month. Screening tests are an important weapon in the fight against cancer. Screening can often help find and treat pre-cancers and cancers early, before they have a chance to spread.

According to a recent report from the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is now the leading cause of cancer deaths in men under 50 and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women under 50.

A colonoscopy is considered the gold standard of colorectal cancer screening. During a colonoscopy a gastroenterologist can detect precancerous growths, called polyps, which can be removed during the procedure. Early detection greatly increases the chances of successful treatment and survival.

Regular screening is the single best way to prevent colon cancer. It is recommended that those with an average risk begin screening at age 45. Those with a family history of colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or other risk factors may need to begin screening even earlier. Regardless of age, people experiencing symptoms such as blood in the stool, losing weight without trying, or a change in bowel habits that lasts more than a few days, should contact their doctor as soon as possible.

Ready to be screened for colon cancer? Schedule an appointment today.

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Tags Colorectal (Colon) Cancer, Colonoscopy

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