Early Colonoscopy Screening and 5 Colon Cancer Preventative Tips

Early Colonoscopy Screening and 5 Colon Cancer Preventative Tips

Killing upwards of 50,000 people per year are the numbers associated with colon cancer. It is one of the most leading cancer killers amongst mostly older American adults. However, recent data indicates that younger men are now susceptible to this silent killer and should consider a colonoscopy.

Explore the risks of colon cancer, guidelines for a recommended early colonoscopy screening, and 5 preventative tips on how to possibly avoid this slow but deadly disease.

The Cause

Colon cancer holds to those high numbers from mainly one major cause, ignorance. The amount of people who avoid a colonoscopy each year avoid being part of the high numbers of survivors that take it.

A colonoscopy is able to detect markers of colon cancer, namely polyps which can be small cancerous growths or other abnormal tissue. Many of these can be removed during a colonoscopy which is usually painless. Otherwise, if something more serious is discovered immediate treatment can be implemented to stop, slow, or fight pending disease.

Task Force on Board

In 2018 the American Cancer Society (ACS) changed the first colon screening recommendation from 50 to 45 years of age. Recently the The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force finally changed its guidelines to reflect the ACS change. 

The Associated Press reported,

“Colorectal cancer is most common in older adults and the task force has long recommended that people ages 50 to 75 get screened. But the rate of new cases before age 50 has been rising since the early 2000s. So the new guidelines say adults at average risk of colorectal cancer should be screened from ages 45 to 75.”

As the task force comes on board and studies continue to show a colon cancer rate increase, this guideline adjustment could push insurance companies to cover the early age screening with no co-pay needed.

The AP report cites different options one can take when considering a colon cancer screening.

“How often people need to get checked depends on the type of screening they choose. There are a variety of options, including yearly stool-based tests or colonoscopies that may be done every 10 years. But about 1 in 4 people between ages 50 and 75 have never been screened for the disease.”

Talk to your doctor about these options and don’t be that one of four people taking the gamble.

Colon Cancer Preventions

As discussed, one of the most significant and beneficial preventative measures to avoid colon cancer is to get a colonoscopy. There a variety of reasons to get a colonoscopy or colon screening but most of those reasons lead to a potentially earlier death if nothing is done. In addition to a colonoscopy, however, there are some lifestyle adjustments you can make to avoid colon cancer.

According to The American Cancer Society and Harvard Medical School these are simple steps to increase your colon health and help prevent colorectal cancer.

  • Take aspirin – Harvard Health cites a randomized study that found taking aspirin could reduce colorectal cancer risk by 20%

According to Dr. Charles Fuchs, director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 

“It’s not recommended for widespread use because aspirin has a risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcer formation. But someone with an obvious colorectal cancer risk may benefit from one 325-milligram dose per day. Talk to your doctor to weigh the risks and benefits,”

  • Eat More Plants – Study after study show how consuming a high plant-based diet can increase overall health exponentially, including the prevention of colorectal cancer.

A review published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) titled Role of Diet in Colorectal Cancer Incidence

“This umbrella review found convincing evidence of an association between lower CRC risk and higher intakes of dietary fiber, dietary calcium, and yogurt and lower intakes of alcohol and red meat.”

  • Get Your D – Vitamin D is often low in most Americans and this can set off a slow health decline you may not even notice until it becomes a chronic issue.

Harvard states that m,

“Dr. Fuchs’ research shows that people with a blood level of vitamin D below 20 ng/ml are at an increased risk for developing colorectal cancer, whereas individuals with a vitamin D level greater than 30 ng/ml experience a lower risk of colorectal cancer. “

Have your doctor check your levels and then offer a dosage recommendation based on your medical history.

  • Stay Active – Exercise is an overall health booster. Staying active on a regular schedule increases circulation and strength while boosting your immune system at the same time. There’s no need to cite a study as this should be well known.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol usage – There should be no explanation here. 

If you are 45 or older, put your early colonoscopy screening and 5 preventative tips on your calendar now. It could save your life and enhance it, all at the same time.