When Was Your Last Colorectal Cancer Screening?
Colorectal cancer is the cause of almost 10 percent of cancer-related deaths in the United States. But, when detected early, colorectal cancer is curable up to 90 percent of the time. Colorectal cancer screening, or colonoscopy, is recommended for all adults after age 50, or earlier if you are African-American or have a family history of the disease. Talk to your doctor to find out about risk factors and the right time to have a colonoscopy.
There may be no symptoms when colorectal cancer first develops, but over time it can cause changes that you should watch for, including:
- Increased or decreased frequency of bowel movements
- Constipation, diarrhea, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
- Blood in the stool
- Stools that are narrower than usual
- Abdominal discomfort, such as frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps
- Weight loss with no known reason
- Constant tiredness
These symptoms are common for colorectal cancer, but they could also be caused by other conditions. If you experience these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis.
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