The key to detecting and preventing colorectal cancer is to get screened. In fact, data suggests that more than 90 percent of colorectal cancers are survivable if caught early enough. There are several factors that could increase your risk for colorectal cancer.
Capital Digestive Care gastroenterologist Dr. Manish Singla recommends talking to your doctor about screening if you have any of the following risk factors:
- You just turned 45. 45 is the new 50. National guidelines from experts, including the American Cancer Society, recommend that anyone 45 or older should get screened for colorectal cancer.
- Family history of colorectal cancer. If you have a parent or sibling who had colorectal cancer, you are at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer and may need to get screened early.
- Lynch syndrome or another genetic condition that puts you at higher risk of colorectal cancer. If this is the case, you may need to get screened early.
- Changes in stool or unintentional weight loss. Troubling symptoms like blood in your stool, change in the shape of your stool, chronic diarrhea or unintentional weight loss may be signs of colorectal cancer.
- Inflammatory bowel disease. People who have an inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease are at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer and might need more frequent colonoscopies.