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For many of us, getting a colonoscopy isn’t at the top of our To Do list.  But a colonoscopy— a test that screens for colon cancer— can find colon cancer before you even notice any symptoms.  In fact, it may stop you from getting cancer.  If you are 50 or older, talk to your doctor about getting tested today.  Most colon cancers are preventable with routine screening and, when detected early, are almost always treatable.  This is a screening test that can save your life.

Despite this, colon cancer is the 3rd leading cause of cancer death in Massachusetts – only about two-thirds of adults get screened.   Colon cancer occurs most often in people over the age of 50, and it affects both men and women.

Everyone should talk to their doctor about colon cancer screening once they turn 50, but if you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or certain polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis), or certain other conditions, your chances of developing colon cancer may be greater.  So, your doctor may want you to get tested before age 50.

Want to decrease your chances of developing colon cancer?  Here’s how:

  • Get screened for colon cancer at age 50 (or earlier if you have any of the risk factors mentioned);
  • Get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day; and,
  • Maintain a healthy weight.

Check out at our video where real people in Boston share their personal stories about undergoing colon cancer testing and what it meant to their health and their lives.  If you or someone you love has been screened, share your story in the comments section of this post.

Here’s more information on colon cancer.

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health communication writer and editor

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