How to be Care-Free at 50

Colorectal cancers are the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States but, when found early, have an almost 90% chance for cure.

Turning 50 is an important milestone but it’s also the age where you become at-risk for colorectal cancer. Your physician may choose to celebrate a clean bill of health by recommending regular colonoscopies, an effective method for early detection of colorectal cancer.

“A colonoscopy allows physicians to detect almost 95% of cancers and pre-cancerous polyps. Individuals can reduce their risk of colorectal cancer through routine screenings and mindful lifestyle choices,” said Dr. Armen Simonian, medical director of the Capital Health Center for Digestive Health.

The frequency of screening depends on an individual’s risk factors [see below].

Those at higher risk should be screened every 5 –10 years. Adults with moderate risk should schedule one every 10 years.

Identify your risk factors today by talking to your primary care doctor or gastroenterologist and start reducing your risk for colorectal cancer. For more information about the Capital Health Center for Digestive Health, visit capitalhealthgi.org or call 609.537.5000.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors:
• Age — Men and women over 50
• Personal history of colorectal cancer
• Type 2 Diabetes
• Family history of colorectal cancer (immediate relatives)
• Race or ethnic background (African Americans and Ashkenazi Jews have higher risk)

Lifestyle Risk Factors:
• High-fat diet (animal fats)
• Lack of exercise
• Overweight/obese
• Smoking and heavy alcohol use

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