Screening for Colon Cancer FAQ’s

By Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates

Q: How common is colon cancer?
A: Colon cancer is the third most common diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. When detected in its early stages during a screening colonoscopy, colon cancer is also one of the most highly treatable and preventable cancers.

Q: When should I get screened?
A: Most medical guidelines recommend colon cancer screening begins for all average-risk adults starting at age 50. Those with a family history of colon cancer or polyps are at higher risk and should start screening earlier.

Q: What are the symptoms of colon cancer?
A: Colon cancer doesn’t cause symptoms until its late stages and its symptoms are not unique – change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, cramping, unintended weight loss. So, if
you’re experiencing any type of digestive symptom, do not ignore it, and see your doctor.

Q: What are my screening options?
A: While any preventive screening is encouraged, not all methods are created equal. Popular at-home, stool-based tests are convenient, but they can miss colon polyps and some cancers and have resulted in many false-positive readings. Research confirms that colonoscopy remains the only screening method that both detects and prevents cancer through polyp detection and removal.

1.866.GO.TO.AGA [468.6242], AtlantaGastro.com

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