Because everyone needs a 50th birthday blowout!
After celebrating your 50th birthday with a blowout party that even a rock star would be proud of, you wake up to the next half of your life, anxious about scheduling a different type of blowout … the dreaded colonoscopy. For many of us, turning 50 is a wake-up call to get in better shape, take care of our health, start working on a bucket list, get more sleep or maybe buy a convertible. For some, it means the first time we have ever considered the possibility of a world without us. We feel the urgency to take steps now that will help us maintain our independence and lifestyle in the future.
“Colonoscopy prevents cancer and saves lives. And now it’s is easier than ever, with better preparation methods and virtually no discomfort,” said Thomas M. Woodcock, M.D., medical oncologist.
Want to know your risk for colon cancer?
Take an online colon cancer risk assessment.
Here are some good reasons why a colonoscopy should be part of your plan to live a long and healthy life:
- When diagnosed early, colon cancer is 90 percent curable! A colonoscopy can find polyps that are benign but would become cancer over time. Also, very early-stage cancers can be diagnosed and treated during a colonoscopy. Finding and removing polyps or other areas of abnormal cell growth may be one of the most effective ways to prevent colorectal cancer.
- Roughly 80 percent of colon cancer cases occur with no family history of the disease. So don’t rely on the fact that no one in your family has had colon cancer. You don’t want to be the first.
- In its early stages, colon cancer usually has no symptoms and can be diagnosed only through screening, such as a colonoscopy. When symptoms do show up – including abnormal stool, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and unexplained weight loss – the cancer is likely to be advanced. With a colonoscopy, your physician can find and stop early-stage colon cancer or prevent it by removing precancerous polyps.
Everyone age 50 and older should be screened for colon cancer. African Americans and anyone with a family history of the disease should be screened earlier.