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Colorectal Cancer Awareness month!

Nelson Chuang, M.D., Ph.D.

March is colorectal cancer awareness month and is a great starting point for our first blog post. For those who were not aware, the most important thing to know is that the age of starting your first colorectal cancer screening exam is now 45. For many decades, it was set at age 50, but with more studies showing that there is an increase in colorectal cancer in individuals younger than 50 (primarily the 45-50 age group), many health societies advocated the change around 6 years ago. Now this age recommendation is if you do not have a family history of colorectal cancer. If you are aware of a family member, particularly a first-degree relative, such as parents, siblings, or children, then you should have your screening performed 10 years before their diagnosis or at age 40-whichever is earlier. Family history is the most important risk factor for colorectal cancer.

When people hear colorectal cancer screening, they automatically think of drinking an awful "prep", spending a sleepless night in the bathroom, and then starving before receiving a colonoscopy. This is not the only test for colon cancer screening! Speak to your primary care doctor about stool-based testing options, such as Fecal Immunohistochemical Testing (FIT) or Cologuard as alternative options. However, if you have a history of seeing blood in your stool or changes in your bowel habits, the colonoscopy is the recommended test to evaluate for these symptoms.

If you have questions regarding colorectal screening, please speak to your primary care doctor or make an appointment to speak with one of our providers.

For more information, please check out these websites:



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