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Colorectal Cancer Screening Saves Lives!

By R. Kyle Barnett, MD

UPDATED: 3/01/2021

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in men and the third most common in women, yet it is one of the most preventable types of cancer. Yes, colorectal cancer can be prevented—not just detected—through colonoscopy.

Colorectal cancer arises from precancerous growths, or polyps, that grow in the colon. When detected early, polyps can be removed, stopping their progression to colorectal cancer. While early detection of any cancer is important, prevention is powerful.

Until recent years, the accepted age to begin colorectal cancer screenings was age 50, but the American Cancer Society suggests screenings begin at age 45 due to the increase in cancer diagnoses among younger people. Check whether your insurance provider covers screenings for patients age 45, or younger, if they have a family history of colon cancer or polyps or any of the risks below:

    • • Personal history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps
    • • A strong family history of the disease
    • • Inherited forms of colorectal polyps or cancer
    • • Predisposing chronic digestive conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)


    Common Excuses to Avoid Colonoscopy

    “I feel fine.”
    Colon polyps and early colon cancer can develop silently without symptoms. Waiting until symptoms develop can mean the cancer is more advanced and less likely to be curable.

    “I’m healthy…why get screened?”
    According to experts, colorectal screening is for HEALTHY PEOPLE! If we find a polyp, we remove it and prevent it from becoming colorectal cancer.

    “No one in my family had colon cancer.”
    Don’t be the first! Your risk for developing colon cancer is 1 in 20 in your lifetime even with no family history!

I have no risk factors.
The single biggest modifiable risk factor for colorectal cancer is failure to be screened.

“Only men get colon cancer.”
Colon cancer is an equal opportunity disease. Women have the same risk as men.


What to Expect from a Colonoscopy

The bowel preparation we use most is easy to take and works well. You will be safe and comfortable and will meet your entire team before you are sedated. While you sleep, we treat you with care and respect, and your entire visit with us is usually less than 2 hours. This easy procedure truly makes a difference in preventing colon cancer!

So quit putting it off! Be screened today and make a difference in your life! Your family will thank you for it. Contact a Granite Peaks gastroenterologist to schedule your colonoscopy screening.