HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

It’s a time to focus on whether you should get screened and make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk.

Dr. Girish Mishra talks about screening guidelines. Dr. Mishra is the gastroenterology section chief at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and a professor of gastroenterology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

  • The American Cancer Society recently recommended that adults without family history should begin colorectal cancer screening at age 45 
  • Those who have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps should get screened at age 40, or 10 years before the youngest case in their immediate family 
  • Screening can often find polyps before they become cancerous. In most cases, unless a polyp is found, people won’t need another colonoscopy for 10 years. 

5 Tips to Reduce the Risk of Colon Cancer:

  • Limit how much meat you eat 
  • Avoid processed food 
  • Use olive oil for cooking 
  • Quit smoking 
  • Exercise regularly