Eastside Medical Group March 09, 2015

You’ve been putting it off for years. If you’re age 50 or older, consider these five reasons you should make 2015 the year you finally get screened for colorectal cancer.

Reason No. 1: You live in a state where death from colorectal cancer is common. In fact, colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer in Georgia and the state’s third leading cause of cancer death. Unfortunately, nearly 40 percent of Georgians for whom colorectal cancer screening is recommended have not been screened.

Reason No. 2: Colorectal cancer screening can reduce your chances of getting cancer. In many cases, routine screening can pick up polyps—precancerous growths on the lining of the colon and rectum. These polyps can be easily removed during the screening itself, making it the only cancer screening that can actually prevent cancer.

Reason No. 3: Today’s improved screening methods make colorectal cancer screening much more convenient and comfortable. You may be putting off screening because of past complaints from friends or family members. New options for colon prepping—including better-tasting solutions and splitting the solution into smaller doses—are now available to reduce the burden of the prep experience. The screening procedure itself is nearly painless.

Reason No. 4: Despite your worst fears, you’re unlikely to have colorectal cancer. A person’s average lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is only about 5 percent. If you do have cancer, the sooner you perform the screening, the better your chances will be of surviving it.

Reason No. 5: It’s recommended for you. If you’re age 50 or older and haven’t had a colonoscopy in the last 10 years, the American Cancer Society recommends you get screened. This recommendation is based on years of evidence showing the long-term benefit of screening, which means you can trust the screening will be well worth your time and money. It might even save your life.

Speak with your physician about your risk factors for colorectal cancer and to determine the right screening schedule for you. To find a physician near you and make an appointment for a colorectal cancer screening, visit eastsidemedical.com/physicians.

Should you need cancer treatment, The Hope Center, a regional, Commission on Cancer-approved cancer treatment facility, is conveniently located on the Cartersville Medical Center campus and provides more than 4,000 treatments to more than 300 new patients per year from a 10-county region.