“I never would have found it early if I hadn’t been screened,” said a survivor of colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum).
Since his dad got colorectal cancer at age 45, when he went for his annual checkup, he asked his own doctor about getting screened. He got a screening test called a colonoscopy, a test that can show the whole colon and the best kind of test for him because of his family cancer history. The colonoscopy showed he had cancer.
“People tell me that they are scared to get screened, but I think it’s scarier if you have a tumor that the doctor can’t remove,” he said. “If I hadn’t been screened, I wouldn’t have been able to see my son go off to college, or enjoy this next chapter of my life with my wife and family.”
What You Can Do
- If you’re 50 to 75 years old, get screened for colorectal cancer regularly. A colonoscopy is not the only test for colorectal cancer. Stool tests are usually the first test you will receive.
- If you’re younger than 50 and think you may be at high risk of getting colorectal cancer, or if you’re older than 75, ask your doctor if you should be screened.
- Be physically active and keep a healthy weight.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol and don’t smoke.
- Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
- Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. If you have symptoms, they may include: Blood in or on the stool (bowel movement), stomach pain, aches, or cramps that do not go away. Losing weight and you don’t know why. These symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer. If you have any of them, see your doctor.
The staff at Shingletown Medical Center is proud to provide first-rate care for you and your family.