March is colon cancer awareness month. At my gastroenterology practice each year, we take this opportunity to help promote local events and spread the awareness message that following the colon cancer screening guidelines is the best way to avoid this cancer.

While everyone is still mitigating their risk of COVID-19 in San Antonio with the various precautions, we encourage you to focus on your regular health physicals and screenings to help avoid preventable diseases like colon cancer.

“I don’t want anyone to become an avoidable statistic by not getting screened for colon cancer. Please follow the screening guidelines and help spread awareness to friends or loved ones of screening age. Together we can beat colon cancer.”
– Dr. H

Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines for 2022

The American Cancer Society’s current guidelines for a screening colonoscopy are:

  • Average-risk individuals should have their first colon cancer screening at age 45.
  • Individuals with a family history of colon cancer or polyps will often have their first colonoscopy before age 45. Those in this category should discuss when to begin screening for colon cancer with their primary care doctor or gastroenterologist.
colon cancer screening begins at age 45 now not at age 50

Testing Options

Screening for colon cancer can either be done with an exam that looks at the colon and rectum (a visual exam) or with a sensitive test that looks for signs of cancer in a person’s stool (a stool-based test). The most popular versions of each exam type are:

  • Colonoscopy – This visual exam is the best way to screen for and identify colon cancer and remove pre-cancerous polyps should they exist.
  • Cologuard – A stool test that you complete in your home. The stool sample is examined using DNA technology to detect the DNA and blood cells released from altered cells within the colon and can detect both precancer and cancer if present.

To learn more about the pros and cons of these colon cancer screening options, please read my article on Colon Cancer Home Tests vs. Colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy Information

I have created several informational articles to help better educate patients on the advantages of colonoscopy over the recent years. Please click on these links to learn more about this procedure, costs, FAQs, and a few tips for the prep.

A colonoscopy is a potentially life-saving procedure. So don’t let fear or embarrassment prevent you from scheduling yours. If you live in the San Antonio area, our practice offers two colonoscopy scheduling options: Open Access or Office Visit. The Open Access option allows healthy patients to skip the office visit before their screening colonoscopy. You can schedule your colonoscopy by calling our office at 210-615-8308 or by requesting an appointment online.

Colon Cancer Awareness Month Events San Antonio 2022

Whether you have a personal connection to colon cancer or want to help raise awareness… the San Antonio area has some great events that you can participate in. I’ve provided basic information on each event below, along with a link to the event website. Also, I will update event information and add new events to this page as they are announced.

National Dress Blue Day

  • Date: Friday, March 4, 2022
  • Event Info: click here
  • Great opportunity to increase awareness at the office or with friends & family!

Get Your Rear in Gear 5k Run/Walk & Kids’ Fun Run

  • Date: Sunday, May 1, 2022
  • Location: Morgan’s Wonderland – 5223 David Edwards Dr, San Antonio, TX 78233
  • Event Info: click here

*All 2022 events have not been published. Check back using the link above for this run/walk event in multiple Texas cities.