A colonoscopy isn’t exactly the highlight of anyone’s week. Although a simple procedure, most people try to avoid or postpone them. But the truth is, there are very good reasons for getting regular colon cancer screenings. Here are just a few of them:
Colon cancer is the second leading type of cancer. Yes, it’s really that common.
You can easily survive colon cancer. When detected early, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent. The survival rates drop as the disease progresses, so take the right steps to early detection.
The risk is greater for men. Both men and women can get colon cancer. But since the risk is higher in men, you should be extra vigilant if you’re male.
Colon cancer runs in families. If your family has a history of colon cancer – even just one person – your chance of also developing the disease doubles. You should also start regular colonoscopies earlier in life if that is the case.
Colon cancer is more common if you’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or inflammatory bowel disease. If you have one of these conditions, your doctor might advise you to seek earlier and more regular colon cancer screenings.
Your diet might put you at risk. The typical American diet does not include nearly enough fruits and vegetables, which lower the risk of colon cancer. Be honest with yourself. Have you followed a stellar diet for years, or have you been slacking?
Colonoscopies are really easy. While we all joke about the discomfort and embarrassment of getting a colonoscopy, most people who have had one will tell you that it’s really pretty simple! This is a procedure that can be performed within an office visit. And, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about; your doctor does colonoscopies every day.