Colon cancer screening and when to have it - Houston Colon – Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery

Colon cancer screening and when to have it

January 26, 2011

As you grow older, it is safer and better to maintain a system of regular colon cancer screening to remain healthy. While there are tests you can have to check for colon cancer, there are also some signs you have to keep a lookout for as colon cancer is curable if detected early.

You can do a self screening to determine if you belong to one of these following high risk groups of developing colon cancer to find out if you are at a greater risk of contracting the disease than other people.

1.

Find out if a family member or blood relatives had colorectal cancer as this makes you at high risk of contracting the disease. Sometimes, relatives you have not seen may have had the disease, so ask family members for the family health history.

2.

Some behaviors like a diet high in animal fat and red meat, smoking and obesity are high risks of contracting colorectal cancer.

3.

Some health conditions like diabetes, hereditary disorders and informatory conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn’s Disease are risk factors that can lead to developing colorectal cancer.

4.

Your age can also put you at risk of contracting the disease. People who are 50 years old or older should make it a habit of getting regular colon cancer screenings to nip any problem in the bud.

Preferred frequency of colon cancer screening

People who don’t have any risk factors and who follow a healthy lifestyle need to get a colon cancer screening only once in every ten years. However those with genetic risk factors should develop a habit of undergoing regular colonoscopies starting from as young as 35 years of age.

This should be repeated every year. In case of people who fall in other high risk groups, it’s more than sufficient to get a colon cancer screening done every once in 3-5 years.

Though you may not be happy with the thought of undergoing a colon cancer screening, is it the best way to control pre-cancerous growths and remain healthy.