Get the facts and get a colonoscopy. It could save your life.

Nurse comforting his patient by holding her hand.

Colon cancer, sometimes called colorectal cancer, is a type of cancer that begins in the large intestine – the colon. It typically affects older adults, though it can happen at any age.

If caught early, many treatments are available to help treat and control colon cancer, including surgery, radiation therapy and drug treatments, such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy. That’s why it’s important to:

  • Understand the facts, risks and symptoms.
  • Talk to your doctor about the right time to schedule a colonoscopy.
  • Make healthy changes to your lifestyle to reduce your risk, if necessary.  

Understand the risks

A risk factor is anything that raises your chance of getting a disease, such as cancer. Researchers have found several risk factors that might increase a person’s chance of developing colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer. Some of these factors like a person’s age or family history, can’t be changed. Other factors, are life-style related and can be changed, including:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Not being physically active
  • Diets high in red and processed meats
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use

Recognize the symptoms

Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. When symptoms do appear, they’ll likely vary, depending on the cancer’s size and location in your large intestine.

Signs and symptoms of colon cancer could include:

  • A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

Schedule your screening

Several tests exist to screen for colon cancer – each with its own benefits and drawbacks. A colonoscopy is one of these tests. Doctors recommend that people with an average risk of colon cancer consider colon cancer screening around age 45. But people with an increased risk, such as those with a family history of colon cancer, should consider screening sooner. Talk about your options with your doctor, and together you can decide which tests are appropriate for you.

Make changes in your everyday life

There are many steps you can take to reduce your risk of colon cancer, including:

  • Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all
  • Stop smoking
  • Exercise most days of the week
  • Maintain a healthy weight

At Evernorth Care Group, our doctors and health clinicians are available to and help you maintain better health and a healthier lifestyle. You can schedule an appointment by calling 800-233-3264.



American Cancer Society. “Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors.” Last Revised: February 1, 2023.,child)%20are%20at%20increased%20risk.

Mayo Clinic. “Colon Cancer: Overview.” Mayo Clinic Staff.,to%20continue%20to%20get%20screened Healthwise. “Colonoscopy.” Current as of: May 4, 2022.