If you are 45 or over, consult with a physician about appropriate screening for colorectal cancer. If you are 50 or over, schedule a colonoscopy ASAP.
We know. Colonoscopies are no fun. But with incidence rates of colon cancer increasing among young and middle-aged people, while at the same time declining among older populations, the American Cancer Society recently updated its guidelines. Routine screening is now recommended to begin at age 45 (for people of average risk) and continue through at least 75.
The good news? Colon cancer, the second leading cause of death by cancer, is easy to diagnose and prevent with a colonoscopy. During the procedure, a long, narrow, flexible tube with an HD camera at the end is used to evaluate the rectum and colon. If doctors spot polyps on the inside of the colon’s lining, they can quickly and painlessly remove them. According to one study, the removal of cancer-causing polyps during a colonoscopy reduced the chance of death from colorectal cancer by 53 percent. (As a bonus, those who opt for sedation swear that being knocked out was the “best nap ever.”)
So, really, there’s no excuse for delay. If you are 45 or over, consult with a physician about appropriate screening for colorectal cancer. If you are 50 or over, schedule a colonoscopy ASAP. (Not convinced? Read Dave Barry’s take here.) Trust us, the worst part of the procedure is the prep to clear out the colon — and, for that, we have some tips gathered from the Woolfer community.
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