There are several easy steps you can take to decrease your risk of developing colorectal cancer. The most important thing is getting a colonoscopy starting at age 45, according to the American Cancer Society. This applies to both men and women. Many colon cancers can be caught on colonoscopy even before they develop, or when the polyps are small enough to be removed without surgery. In fact, colonoscopy for screening of colon cancer is so effective that the incidence of this disease is actually decreasing.
Apart from colonoscopy, there are also lifestyle changes you can make. Chief among those is stopping any tobacco use, making sure you’re not overweight, and eating a diet with a lot of fiber which includes green vegetables, whole wheat foods, and fruits like apples and bananas.
We asked leading colorectal doctors to identify some symptoms that could indicate colon cancer, and to separate the myths from the medicine in prevention and screening.
Is colon cancer really becoming more prevalent in people under the age of 50? Can you skip screening if you don’t have any symptoms? Dr. Heather Yeo has the answers – and explains some common misconceptions.
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