Understanding Colorectal Cancer Screening: A Simple Guide

March 4, 2024

Colorectal cancer screening can save lives by catching cancer early.  Let’s explore why it’s important, who should get screened, and the different screening methods.

Colorectal cancer starts in the colon or rectum, usually from polyps.  Screening helps find these polyps before they turn into cancer.

Who Should Get Screened:

Most people should start screening around age 45, even if they feel healthy.  If there’s a family history or other risk factors, starting earlier may be advised.  Talk to your doctor to know for sure.

Screening Methods:

  1. Colonoscopy:  A procedure where a small camera looks inside the colon.
  2. Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT):  A simple test that checks for blood in the stool.
  3. Flexible Sigmoidoscopy:  Similar to a colonoscopy, but focuses on the lower part of the colon.
  4. CT Colonography:  Uses scans to check the colon for any problems.

Benefits of Screening:

  • Find cancer early, when it’s easier to treat.
  • Stop cancer before it starts by removing polyps.
  • Lower the chance of dying from colorectal cancer.

Overcoming Barriers to Screening:

Some people might feel scared or uncomfortable about screening.  It’s important to talk with your doctor and learn more.  They can help make screening easier and less scary.

Colorectal cancer screening is vital for staying healthy.  By getting screened, people can catch cancer early or even prevent it altogether.  Don’t wait – talk to your doctor about screening today.  It could save your life!