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The American Cancer Society (ACS) has recently released updated guidelines that lower the recommended age for colon cancer screening. According to the new ACS recommendations, those at average risk for colon cancer should begin screening at age 45 instead of 50. The new guidelines were put in place following a major data review that showed a rising rate of colon cancer in adults younger than 50.
The updated guidelines also state that those at higher than average risk may need to begin screening prior to age 45, and more frequently and/or with specific tests. However, it is important to remember that colon cancer does not discriminate and can happen to men and women at any age.
There are several methods available for colon cancer screening, including colonoscopies.
In addition to regular screenings, you can also help prevent colon cancer by living a healthy lifestyle that includes daily exercise, a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting your alcohol intake and eliminating smoking. These practices can reduce your risk for colorectal and many other forms of cancer. Knowing your family’s medical history is also important – a history of the disease in your immediate family puts you at a higher risk for the disease.
Contact 800.424.DOCS or visit https://www.mystfrancis.com/ to learn more about colorectal cancer detection and prevention, and to schedule your colon cancer screening.
Keep in mind that you will be instructed to follow a special diet the day before your procedure and will need to have someone take you home afterward.