When You Should Get A Colonoscopy
Over the last few years, the American Cancer Society has reported a drastic rise in the number of colon and rectal cancer rates here in the US, particularly among young adults. It’s now more important than ever that men and women get regular colorectal cancer screenings, also known as a colonoscopy. This diagnostic and preventive tool is truly the best way to both prevent and detect colorectal cancer early.
You Just Turned 50
Happy Birthday to you! Now that you’re 50 it’s important that you are turning to your doctor for any additional screenings that you may need to protect against diseases that tend to affect older adults. Both men and women with an average risk of colorectal cancer should get their first colonoscopy by the time they turn 50 years old.
Since some experts recommend getting your first colonoscopy even earlier (at age 45) you should talk with your colon and rectal surgeons to find out when you should schedule your first colorectal screening here in Salt Lake City, UT.
Whether you have turned to us at 50 or 45 years old, the fact remains that you will need to come in for colonoscopy screenings every 10 years to protect your health. Again, your risk factors will play a role in how often you should come in for routine screenings. Those at high risk for colorectal cancer may need to be screening every five years. You will also continue to get colonoscopy screenings until age 75.
Do You Have Risk Factors?
Wondering what your risk level is for developing colorectal cancer? These risk factors could increase your chances of developing this form of cancer at some point during your lifetime,
- A family history of colorectal cancer
- Being over age 50
- A family history or personal history of colon polyps
- Being diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (not the same as IBS)
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- Eating a poor diet
If you would like to discuss your risk factors with one of our Salt Lake City, UT, board-certified colon and rectal surgeons we would be happy to sit down with you and create a plan for how often you should be screened and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce your risk.