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When it comes to advocating for your health, understanding available options and what makes the most sense for your lifestyle is key. You might use ten different beauty brands on a weekly basis—and it’s great to have those options to choose from!

But did you know that when it comes to health, and in particular the health of your colon, you also have options?

To prevent colorectal cancer, a disease that is entire preventable and treatable if caught early, you need to get screened. And there are many screening options available to you. But you should know that the ones you consider should reflect the national guidelines issued by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). This group of healthcare experts last updated the guidelines on colorectal cancer screening tests in 2016 and recommends any of the ones listed.

Because you have options, it’s important to discuss them with your healthcare provider. What is most important is empowering yourself to understand these different options so you can advocate not only for yourself, but for those you care about too.

The USPSTF recommends the following colorectal cancer screening tests:

Multitarget stool DNA test

FIT test

FOBT  

Colonoscopy

Flexible sigmoidoscopy

CT colonography

Most everything you do is by choice, so ensure that you’re taking your healthcare into your own hands by knowing what’s available. As you think about colorectal cancer screening, all of the above screening options are available. However, if you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you will need to be screened earlier than the recommended age of 50.

Finding options that fit your routine, personal preference, and comfort level matter. Your doctor should guide you, but ultimately you can proactively advocate for the option that suits you best. Take charge of your life and empower yourself.

Do your homework. Know your options. Talk to your healthcare provider.

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