Why Get Screened for Colorectal Cancer?


How exactly do we keep our colon health in check? You are definitely not alone if you’ve ever wondered where to begin regarding the health of your colon. Adequate exercise, a balanced diet, and regular health evaluations are just a few ways to protect your health as you age. Colon cancer is one of the most widespread yet avoidable cancers thanks to the tests that are available for the disease. Learning about your colon health could be as easy as requesting a visit at Digestive Health Associates of Texas. Our gastroenterology team in Dallas, TX can help you take the first step toward a healthy future.

Why are colorectal cancer exams essential?

Per the American Cancer Society (ACS), colorectal cancer affects the lives of about 4% of adults in the United States. That is approximately 1 out of every 25 individuals. However, colon cancer is preventable if identified in the beginning stages.

In most instances, colon and rectal cancers arise as a growth (collection of cells) on the internal wall of the rectum or colon (large intestine). These growths are referred to as colorectal polyps. It is rare to have symptoms when you have polyps, meaning a colon cancer exam is vital for diagnosing them. When you schedule routine exams, you’re helping to maintain your GI health by getting any growths excised before they develop into cancer. It is also essential, however, to have a colorectal cancer screening if you notice any of the following concerns:

Why is colorectal cancer such a common disease?

Even though it isn't clear why colorectal cancer has increased in prevalence over time, certain factors might elevate the chance of developing colorectal cancer. Keeping informed and knowing the risk factors associated with this cancer can help you remain mindful and make good decisions for your health and wellness. Some of the risk factors for colon cancer involve the following:

  • A low-fat and high-fat diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Using tobacco products
  • A diet that includes a large amount of processed meat
  • A diet lacking vegetables and fruits
  • A personal history of colon or rectal cancer
  • Being diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • Genetic history of colon cancer

Please request a consultation with a Digestive Health Associates of Texas gastrointestinal specialist. Our Dallas, TX providers can discuss further details about colorectal cancer and how you can receive guidance toward a future of health.

How often should you have a colorectal cancer test?

It is recommended that you undergo your initial colon screening upon turning age 45 when you have a standard risk for colon cancer, and then every decade following. The chance of developing polyps and bowel cancer becomes greater as you become older, which means that the more colon cancer tests you have, the earlier a concern can be caught. Once you turn 75, you’ll need screenings based on your overall health condition and your gastroenterologist's recommendations.

However, having a family history or personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps puts you in the category of significantly higher risk. If you fall into this significant high risk category, it's likely that you'll need to have a colonoscopy exam a minimum of once every five years. It's much better to be aware of your colon health status rather than to wonder if you should arrange for a GI visit. A routine test for colon or rectal cancer, better known as a colonoscopy, typically takes under an hour. This test is an excellent way to assess your colon health and learn about any changes you may need to make to help keep your colon healthy moving forward.

Schedule your colon cancer screening in Dallas, TX today

A routine colon cancer screening can safeguard your future health. The American Cancer Society states that approximately 144,000 new colorectal cancer cases are diagnosed on an annual basis. Help reduce that number today by scheduling a colon cancer test at Digestive Health Associates of Texas. Should you have questions or concerns about the test or your colon health, feel free to review them with your gastrointestinal specialist during your visit to one of our Dallas, TX locations.