Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S. Although you run a higher risk if you have family history of colon cancer, many people are fooled into thinking it will not happen to them if it doesn’t run in their family.
The best prevention is a colonoscopy starting at the age of 50 for those with no identified risk factors. Risk factors include lifestyle choices like diet, weight and activity level as well as smoking and heavy alcohol use. Non-lifestyle risk factors include family history, age, inflammatory bowel syndrome which includes colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Prevention Is Key
If you have family history of colorectal cancer you should have early screening if:
- At least three relatives have colorectal cancer, and one relative is a first-degree relative (parent, sibling or child).
- At least two successive generations are involved.
- At least one relative had their cancer when they were younger than 50.
The American Cancer Society reminds us of the five reasons you should have Colon Cancer screening.
- Extended family
- Your future
Colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers because is can take 10-15 years for abnormal cells to develop into cancerous ones.