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Know colon cancer risks, get screened

The government recommends everyone 50 and older get

The government recommends everyone 50 and older get screened for colon cancer — when caught early, the disease is treatable and curable. Photo Credit: iStock

More than 90 percent of people diagnosed with colon cancer are 50 or older. When caught early, the disease is treatable and curable. But the problem is most people don't have any symptoms until the disease has spread, when the prognosis is far worse.

The government recommends everyone 50 and older get screened for colon cancer. Medicare and most private health insurance policies cover screening as a mandated part of the Affordable Care Act.

Genetics and lifestyle can raise your risk of colon cancer. The National Institutes of Health has an online calculator that can estimate your risks. The tool, designed for people ages 50 to 85, can be accessed at www.nwsdy.li/nihcalculator.

For more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including risk factors, go to www.nwsdy.li/cdccolon.

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