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Turning 45? Get screened for colon cancer

Colorectal, or colon, cancer affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups. Your risk of getting colon cancer increases as you age. More than 90% of cases occur in people who are 50 years old or older.

Of cancers that affect both men and women, colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the US, but it doesn’t have to be.

Lifestyle factors that may contribute to an increased risk of colorectal cancer include:

  • Lack of regular physical activity
  • Low fruit and vegetable intake
  • A low-fiber and high-fat diet
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Tobacco use

Colorectal cancer screening saves lives. Screening can find precancerous polyps—abnormal growths in the colon or rectum—so that they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure.

If you’re age 45 or older, get screened now. If you think you may be at higher than average risk for colorectal cancer, speak with your doctor about getting screened early.

Mercyhealth gastroenterology specialists Dr. Yasmin Hussain and Kelly Winkelman, APNP see patients in Mercyhealth Hospital and Medical Center–Harvard, Mercyhealth Crystal Lake South, Mercyhealth Woodstock and Mercyhealth McHenry.

For more information or to make an appointment, call the location most convenient for you.