Advice for all ages on colorectal cancer

More and more people across the country are finding themselves affected by colorectal cancer. While researchers look for answers about that increase, now may be a good time to reflect on your own risk of developing cancer.  

Oncologists with University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center say there are a number of things you can do right now to protect yourself.  

  • If under 45, watch for symptoms: 

  • Changes in your usual bowel habits (i.e. an increase in average number of bowel movements per day)  

  • Bloody stool 

  • Unexplained weight loss 

  • Talk to your doctor if you experience any unusual symptoms or have a family history of colon cancer 

  • If over 45, it’s time to get screened! Learn which colorectal screening option is best for you:  

  • Colonoscopy – the most common type of screening for colorectal cancer 

  • FIT test – an at-home test which looks for the presence of cancer DNA in your stool 

  • Everyone: Talk to your loved ones 

  • Learn if you have a family history of colorectal cancer, and if anyone in your family has had multiple polyps on a colonoscopy 

  • If you do have a family history of cancer, consider genetic counseling to better understand your risk for developing cancer  

 Additional resources regarding colorectal cancer can be found here.

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