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In Connecticut, colorectal cancer is the third-most common cancer diagnosed in women and the fourth-most common cancer diagnosed in men, according to the state Health Department.

A colonoscopy is one of the few screening tests that can actually prevent colon cancer. By finding and taking colon polyps out before they become cancer, doctors can prevent their later development into cancer. When caught early, colorectal cancer has a 90 percent survival rate.

Why get a colonoscopy?

The rate of colorectal cancer diagnoses has dropped each year since the mid-1980s because more people are getting screened and more people are adjusting their lifestyle to reduce risk factors.

Key factors that can increase the risk of colorectal cancer include:

  • Age: Current guidelines recommend screening begin at age 45 for people at average risk
  • Personal history of colon cancer, polyps or inflammatory bowel disease
  • Family history of colon cancer or polyps.
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), a hereditary condition that creates hundreds of polyps in the colon and rectum.
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol use

Why wait?

Make an appointment for your colonoscopy today!

About the procedure

This test is similar to a sigmoidoscopy in that the doctor uses a thin, flexible, lighted tube, called a colonoscope, which is inserted into your rectum and entire colon so that your doctor can find and remove polyps and cancer.

More than 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year. Colorectal cancer is easily treatable and cured if detected early.

About Colon Cancer
Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can easily detect these growths so that they can be removed before they become cancerous. If performed regularly, screening tests can also detect colorectal cancer in its earliest stages.

When should you begin screening for Colorectal Cancer?
You should get a screening test for colon cancer soon after turning 50 years old, and then continue to have one on a regular basis.

However, you may need to have a screening test earlier if:

  • You or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or cancer.
  • You have inflammatory bowel disease.
  • You experience symptoms like blood in your stool, unexplained and frequent stomach pain, cramps, or aches, or a change in your bowel habits.

Digestive Health Center