Who needs to be screened?
For those at an average risk of colorectal cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends regular screenings beginning at age 45 and continuing until age 75. A preventative colonoscopy is the most effective screening for colorectal cancer and is recommended every 10 years.
Why is screening important?
A colonoscopy is 95 percent accurate at detecting colorectal cancer, the fourth most common cancer in Missouri. When caught early, colorectal cancer has a 90 percent survival rate.
While at-home screenings exist, we strongly encourage patients to schedule a colonoscopy. At-home screenings are less accurate at detecting cancer and can result in additional screenings and expenses to the patient if the result is positive.
Cape Gastroenterology Specialists uses the latest medical advances in the field for diagnostic testing and specialty care of colon cancer and a wide range of gastrointestinal disorders.
Know Your Cancer Risk
Knowing about moderate or high-risk factors and when to begin regular screening can go a long way toward prevention. Talk to your healthcare provider about when to begin screening if you fall into a moderate or high risk category.
You may be considered moderate risk if:
- You have one or more family members who have had colon or rectal cancer.
- You have had certain types of polyps removed during a colonoscopy.
- You have previously had colon or rectal cancer.
- You have had radiation to your abdomen or pelvic area to treat a prior cancer.
You may be considered high risk if:
- You have an inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- You have or are suspected to have hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome.
A colonoscopy can save your life.