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Is It Time for Your Screening Colonoscopy?

July 25, 2021 – If you are turning 45 this year, be prepared to give one special birthday present to yourself – a screening colonoscopy. It may not be what you had in mind to celebrate this milestone birthday, but there are 50,000 reasons why you should get screened. That's the number of people that will die each year from colorectal cancer. It is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related death, but it needn't be.

Colorectal cancer screening guidelines from the American Cancer Society for early detection include:

Beginning at age 45, both men and women should follow one of the examination schedules below:

  • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy (FSIG) every five years
  • Double-contrast barium enema every five years
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every five years
  • Stool DNA test (sDNA), interval uncertain

People with any of the following colorectal cancer risk factors should begin screening procedures at an earlier age and/or be screened more often:

  • Strong family history of colorectal cancer or polyps in a first-degree relative, especially in a parent or sibling before the age of 60 or in two first-degree relatives of any age
  • Family with hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC)
  • Personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
  • History of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis) 

To schedule a colonoscopy screening or to learn more, call (229) 312-0698.