Be proactive; get screened
If you’re an Oregonian older than 50, or like me, are between the ages of 40 and 50 and have a family history of colon cancer, you’ve probably been encouraged by someone you know to get screened for colorectal cancer. What you might not have been told is the reason why, so here it is: Colorectal cancer is the second most deadly form of cancer, but it’s also the most preventable. Screening lets your doctor find and remove polyps before they become cancerous, or at least catch them in an early stage when the disease is most treatable. Many insurance plans cover 100 percent of the cost of screening with no co-pay or deductible. Even without insurance, there are low-cost, reliable options.
I’m glad I talked to my doctor and got screened. My doctor did find a polyp, and removed it right then during the screening before it turned cancerous. I’m so glad I didn’t wait!
When it’s time for my next colorectal cancer screening, you can bet I’ll be keeping that appointment. In the meantime, my doctor has encouraged me to share my story with people I know, since most people say they made the decision to be screened because someone they knew encouraged them.
So that’s what I’m doing. I hope all Oregonians older than 50, or between 40 and 50 with a family history of colon cancer, will contact their doctors to find out what screening procedure is right for them. The life you save might be your own.