Get a colonoscopy
For most people, your 50th birthday is the signal that it’s time for a first colonoscopy screening—and you should know the best time to schedule your colonoscopy. During the procedure, your doctor will use a long, lighted tube called a colonoscope to examine your colon for polyps, which can be early signs of colon cancer. The procedure, which is done while you’re under sedation, is painless and the benefits are great. Discovered early, colon cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer—but it rarely has symptoms until it’s progressed to a deadlier stage. “It is a disease that is 90 percent beatable if caught early,” says Michael Sapienza, CEO of Colon Cancer Alliance. “If you are not doing it for yourself, do it for others—your family,” says Sapienza. While most adults have a first colonoscopy at age 50, those with risk factors such as a family history of colon cancer, may need to be screened at an earlier age.