Need to be screened? It could save your life.
Colorectal cancer is the second most deadly form of cancer, but it doesn’t have to be. Screening can prevent the cancer or catch it early when it’s highly treatable.
Men and women at average risk of colorectal cancer need to get screened starting at age 50 (45 for African Americans) even if they have no family history and feel healthy*. People at increased risk of colorectal cancer should talk to their doctor about when to begin screening, which test is right for them, and how often to get tested.
Most insurance plans cover all the cost of screening with no out-of-pocket cost such as co-pays or deductibles. Even without insurance, there are low cost, reliable options, including ones you can do at home.
Talk to your doctor about the one that’s right for you. Get screened. Then share your experience and encourage people you know to get screened too.
Your story could save a life.
*The American Cancer Society now recommends screening beginning at age 45 for all average-risk adults.
I was screened for colorectal cancer and was diagnosed with stage IV cancer in February 2010. My surgeon estimated the cancer had probably been growing in my colon for about 10 years! If I had been screened earlier, there would have been advantages to diagnosing and treating the cancer earlier.
I talk about colon screening because I want my friends and family members to understand it isn’t a terrible process, like they might think. It’s easy to do, and when it comes to colon cancer, early diagnosis and prevention really make a difference. I’m an example of how it saves lives.
I have had regular checkups since then and have no evidence of colon cancer. I will continue to have colon screenings and I encourage others to do the same.
Joy Maxwell – Roseburg