The benefits of any screening tests must be weighed against the risks of the tests themselves. Risks may include anxiety, pain or other side effects. And screening isn’t perfect. Sometimes screening misses cancer, and sometimes it finds something suspicious that turns out to be harmless, but must be checked out through additional tests that also carry risks.
The American Cancer Society recommends colon cancer screening begin at age 45 for people at average risk (This is a new recommendation as of May 2018). But some people have certain risk factors that make them more likely to develop colorectal cancer, and to get it at an earlier age. This may mean they should start screening earlier or get tested more often than other people.
How can you reduce your risk?
Meet Don and listen as he talks about his symptoms, his delay in seeking answers and what he would do differently if he could. Cancer can affect anyone at any age. You’re not immune because you’re young or have no family history. If you suspect something is not right, talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible.