Colon screenings can save your life
Schneck Medical Center - February 27, 2019
Colorectal cancer is the second most lethal cancer in the United States, but it doesn't have to be. If everyone aged 50 years or older had regular screening tests, at least 60% of deaths from this cancer could be avoided. The colon, otherwise known as the large intestine, is very important to your overall health. As the final part of the digestive process, the colon absorbs remaining nutrients and processes waste for elimination as stool. Abnormal cells or polyps can develop in the colon or the rectum. Most polyps are harmless, but some are not. Early detection can help prevent colorectal cancer by finding and removing polyps.

Some methods of early detection are fecal occult blood tests (also known as ColoCare), colonoscopies, and stool DNA tests (also known as Cologuard). Starting at age 50, fecal occult blood tests should be scheduled once a year. Colonoscopies should be scheduled for every ten years, unless you have had prior colon issues. Please consult your primary care giver if you are unsure of when to schedule your colon cancer screenings.

A healthy lifestyle is a key element in maintaining a healthy colon. Try one of these methods to jumpstart your path to colon health:
  • Get regular colorectal cancer screenings starting at age 50.
  • Eat foods with folate such as leafy green vegetables.
  • Exercise for at least 20 minutes three to four days each week. Moderate exercise such as walking, gardening, or climbing steps can keep your colon in good shape.
  • Eat plenty of fiber--between 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day from fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread and cereals, nuts and beans.