Can colon cancer be prevented?

Yes. The good news is that polyps can be found and removed before they turn into cancer. A colonoscopy is an exam in which a doctor looks inside the colon with a long, flexible and lighted tube called a colonoscope. During a colonoscopy, a doctor may collect samples of tissue or cells for closer examination. This is also when a doctor can remove polyps to prevent colon cancer!

Most people begin getting screened for colon cancer when they turn 50 years old. However, if you have a personal or family history of colon health problems, you might need to be screened sooner. If you are near age 50 and have never been screened for colon cancer, you should talk to your doctor about this important test.

Other lifelong ways to help prevent colon cancer might include: eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking.