Dr. Cristina Hatara | Gastroenterology & Hepatology

In the U.S., colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed among men and women, and the second leading cause of death from cancer.

Colon cancer can be prevented by the detection and removal of adenomatous polyps during a colonoscopy. Most colorectal cancer begins as a benign adenoma or polyp that develops on the lining of the colon or rectum. Polyps can be removed to significantly reduce cancer risk during a colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy is a safe procedure, performed under sedation, which can be scheduled starting at age 50 and every 10 years if no polyps are found.  If you have polyps, or a family history, Colonoscopy might be indicated every 3-5 years.

Talk to your doctor and begin screening for polyp at age 50, even if you are asymptomatic.

Your doctor can also identify high risk patients (such as those with family history, history of genetic diseases or IBD) to encourage screening even before age 50 and reduce deaths from colon cancer.

Risk factors for your risk of developing colorectal cancer:

  • Smoking
  • Consuming red meat or non-dairy (meat-associated) fat intake in excess
  • Being overweight
  • Family history of colon cancer

Certain symptoms might indicate this cancer:

  • blood in the stool
  • narrower than normal stools
  • unexplained abdominal pain
  • unexplained change in bowel habits
  • unexplained anemia

If you are experiencing any symptoms, such as those found above,  please contact your doctor and schedule your colonoscopy.