Know the Risk Factors
- Being over age 50
- A history of colorectal polyps
- A personal or family history of colorectal cancer
- A history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Diets high in fat, red meat or processed meats
- Alcohol use
Cindy Burner’s colonoscopy story may sound familiar. She knew that, at the age of 50, her physician would remind her she was due to have a colonoscopy. While Cindy knew it was just a routine exam, the preparation for the colonoscopy bothered her more than the procedure itself. She could have just avoided the screening, skipped the hassle. But Cindy had her colonoscopy done despite the inconvenience, and it was a good thing she did: She was shocked to learn the screening found cancer.
Colorectal cancer ranks as the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. In fact, around 50,000 people will die this year due to colorectal cancer. The good news: Nearly half of those 50,000 lives can be saved by getting screened. Doctors recommend getting a colonoscopy beginning at age 50, and then once every 10 years going forward. “In an ideal world, we would find polyps,” Charles Friel, MD says. “Polyps are other abnormal growths that can grow up to become cancer.”
Fortunately, Friel was able to surgically remove Cindy’s cancer. Cindy now encourages everyone she knows to get a colonoscopy, telling them, “it’s just one day out of your life!”
Watch Cindy’s Colonoscopy Story
See Cindy’s story now.