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Colon Cancer Screenings

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More than 20 million Americans ages 50 to 75 have not had any screening for colorectal cancer. That's according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New figures also show one in three adults are not up to date with their screenings.

"We have excellent screening tests that actually if we find colorectal cancer early by screening for it, we can cure 90% of all colorectal cancers, so we are very concerned," says Dr. Marcus Plescia.

Guidelines recommend adults 50 and older get a colonoscopy every ten years or a specialized fecal test every year.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the U.S. Federal health officials say doctors need to do a better job letting patients know their screening options.

"We know that people who actually make a choice for the test they want, those people are likely to go on and get the test done."

63-year-old Janie Dickson knew she waited longer than recommended to get her first colonscopy.

"They had to push me a bit because then my husband went and when I saw what I had to drink I went 'oh no.'"

She got a clean bill of health. Doctors say no matter what test you choose screening saves lives.

People with a family history of colorectal cancer or who have diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease are at increased risk for colorectal cancer and should start screening before age 50.

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