Don't Put it Off: The Importance of Colorectal Cancer Screenings

Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States for both men and women, yet it is also highly preventable through early detection. Regular screenings are crucial in catching the disease at its earliest stages, when treatment is most effective.

Early Detection Saves Lives:
"Colorectal cancer often has no symptoms in its early stages," says Dr. Brian Marovets, a Family Practice Provider at Jefferson County Health Center. "This is why screenings are so important. They can detect precancerous polyps before they turn into cancer, or they can find cancer at its earliest stage, when it's most treatable."

Who Should Get Screened?
The American Cancer Society recommends that adults with an average risk of colorectal cancer begin screening at age 45. However, individuals with certain risk factors, such as a family history of the disease, may need to start earlier. It is crucial to talk to your health care provider about your individual risk factors and determine the appropriate screening schedule for you.

Screening Options:
There are several effective screening options available, each with its own advantages. Dr. Marovets explains, "The best test for you will depend on your individual preferences and health history. We can discuss the options together and make the best decision for you."

Here are some common screening options:

  • Colonoscopy: This procedure allows doctors to visualize the entire colon and rectum and remove any polyps found.
  • Sigmoidoscopy: This procedure examines the lower portion of the colon and rectum.
  • Stool tests: These tests detect hidden blood in the stool, which can be a sign of colorectal cancer.

Don't Be Afraid to Talk to Your Health Care Provider:
Many people are hesitant to get screened due to fear or embarrassment. However, Dr. Marovets emphasizes, "Colorectal cancer is a serious disease, but it is highly treatable when caught early. Don't let fear stand in the way of getting the care you need. Talk to your health care provider today about your risk factors and discuss which screening option is right for you."

Taking Charge of Your Health:
Early detection is key to successful treatment of colorectal cancer. By getting screened regularly, you can take charge of your health and reduce your risk of developing this preventable disease. Schedule an appointment with your health care provider today by calling the JCHC Clinics at 641-472-4156, to discuss your individual screening needs.