The best way to win the fight against colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, is to stop it before it ever has a chance, and that’s why colon cancer screenings are important for adults over 50.

While it’s the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in adults, colon cancer can often be more effectively treated or even prevented if adults over 50 are screened regularly.

Timely colon cancer screening saves lives. Through screenings, physicians can identify precancerous polyps that can be safely removed before they turn into cancer. Also, if colon cancer is detected at an early stage through screenings, treatment can often lead to a full recovery.

Since regular screening is essential to preventing colon cancer, adults age 50 and older are strongly encouraged to get screened.

Adults younger than 50 may need to get screened early if they or a close relative have previously had colorectal polyps or cancer, if they have an illness like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis or if they have a genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome). Ask your doctor if and when colon cancer screening is right for you.

CHI St. Vincent’s Gastroenterology and Digestive Health clinics offer a comprehensive range of services, including advanced colon cancer screenings. To find a physician and get screened, visit http://www.chistvincent.com/clinical-services/gastroenterology .