If you are age 50 or older, it’s time to think about colon cancer screening. During a colon cancer screening, the physician looks for signs of colorectal cancer as well as colon polyps. A colon polyp is a small growth on the inner lining of the large intestine. Colon polyps could be benign and usually cause no symptoms, but could eventually turn into colon cancer. In fact, most colon cancers arise from colon polyps.
The Importance of Colon Cancer Screening
Colon cancer is the third leading cancer in the U.S., and the second leading cause of cancer related death. However, when caught early, treatments are most effective. Caught at stage 1, colon cancer has an 80-95% survival rate. Awareness and screening exams are essential!
Colon Polyps Risk Factors
While colon cancer screening is recommended for all men and women, certain risk factors may increase a person’s chance of developing colon polyps—making colon cancer screening even more important.
- Men and women age 50 or older
- Being overweight
- Tobacco or alcohol use
- Personal/ or family history of colon polyps or colon cancer
- Having certain intestinal conditions including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
- Having a poor diet high fat and red meat and low in fiber
Colon Cancer Screening Recommendations
It is recommended that men and women age 50 and over receive colon cancer screening, like a virtual colonoscopy, at least once every 10 years. If you have a family history or a combination of other risk factors, your doctor may recommend earlier or more frequent screenings. Talk to your doctor about what screening schedule is best for you.
Colon Cancer Screening: Making Your Appointment
The Association of Alexandria Radiologists offers virtual colonoscopy, which is a more comfortable, less invasive alternative to the traditional colonoscopy. When compared to a colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy provides a high quality colon cancer screening test that is less invasive and requires no sedation, pain medication, or recovery time. To make your appointment at one of our many convenient locations, call 703-824-3260 or request an appointment online.