Over 50? Get Checked!!
Prevent Colon Cancer, get your cancer screening colonoscopy today!
Over 50? Get Checked!!

Colon Cancer and the Importance of Colonoscopy Screening

At FirstLight Health System colon cancer prevention is an area of deep concern. Colon, or colorectal, cancer starts in the large intestine (colon) or the rectum (end of the colon). According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States for both men and women. Early diagnosis, however, often leads to a complete cure.


Colon cancer can almost always be caught by colonoscopy in its earliest and most curable stages. All men and women age 50 and older should have a colon cancer screening. Patients at risk may need earlier screening.

A colonoscopy is an internal examination of the colon (large intestine) and rectum, using an instrument called a colonoscope.  Colonoscopies are the most effective method of screening for colon cancer.  

A baseline colonoscopy is recommended for all patients at the age of 50, with some high-risk individuals recommended to begin screening at a younger age. Contact FirstLight Health System to schedule your preventative screening colonoscopy at 320-679-1313.

Risk Factors

You have a higher risk for colon cancer if you

  • Are older than 60
  • Are African American or eastern European descent
  • Eat a diet high in red or processed meats
  • Eat a high fat, low fiber diet
  • Smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol excessively
  • Have cancer elsewhere in the body
  • Have colorectal polyps
  • Have inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • Have a family history of colon cancer
  • Have a personal history of breast cancer

While many cases of colon cancer have no symptoms, the following signs may indicate colon cancer:

  • Abdominal pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen
  • Blood in the stool
  • Diarrhea, constipation or other change in bowel habits
  • Narrow stools
  • Weight loss with no known reason

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 9-1-1 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only—they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.