How to Assess Your Risk for a Colon Cancer
Second only to lung cancer, colon cancer is the most common fatal cancer among American adults. This cancer develops in the large intestine and rectum, but frequently exhibits no symptoms in its early stages. That’s why cancer care experts stress the importance of getting colon cancer screenings early and often. With early detection and medical intervention by the medical staff at Riverside Community Hospital, many individuals recover from colon cancer. However, it’s imperative that you understand your risk factors and take the necessary steps to address them:
Colon cancer is a condition that largely affects older adults. In fact, approximately nine in ten people who get colon cancer are 50 years old or older. Because its presence is so pronounced among older demographics, physicians recommend that any adult who is at least 50 years old be screened for colon cancer. Among the more common screening procedures are colonoscopies, double-contrast barium enemas, and fecal occult blood tests. If you have already passed your 50th birthday, talk to your doctor about which screening method is right for you.
Your Family History
Regardless of your age, you may have a heightened risk for colon cancer if one or more of your immediate family members have already been diagnosed with the disease. If you’re not sure about your family’s health history, make a point to research it. Should you find that you have a family history of the disease, you may want to schedule a screening, even if you are not yet 50 years old.
Your Current Health
Screenings are imperative to your colon health because they can alert you to another risk factor: polyps. Colon polyps are non-cancerous growths that have the potential to turn malignant if not treated. Because polyps often exhibit no symptoms, individuals must undergo colon cancer screenings to determine their presence. Once identified, your physician can administer treatment to prevent colon cancer.
To schedule a colon cancer screening at Riverside Community Hospital, call us at (951) 788-3000. To learn more about the risk factors and symptoms of this disease, we encourage our patients to take advantage of our Consult-A-Nurse referral program.