Sending poop in the mail isn’t something I thought I would ever do.

But I did. Right after making a deposit in a container that straddled the toilet seat.

Welcome to Cologuard. Trust me, I welcomed this opportunity after multiple colonoscopies. I started those when I was 40 because I have a family history of colon cancer.

My new doc suggested Cologuard since I’ve never had polyps. Everything is just fine down there, I’m happy to report. I’m supposed to do the Cologuard thing every three years. I had been on an every five-year cycle for colonoscopies.

There are different schools of thought if Cologuard is the correct route for me based on my family history. I have 20 months until I’d be due for my next colonoscopy. I’m taking that time to decide if I want one, assuming I stick with the every five-year routine. I’ll do some more research as that date gets closer.

No matter what I decide it didn’t hurt to go through the Cologuard process.

I was surprised that in information Cologuard sent it says, “By 2030, researchers predict that colorectal cancer will be the leading cause of cancer deaths in people ages 20-49,” but also pointed to how the guideline for those of average risk is to start screenings at age 45. Maybe it should be sooner?

It was in 2021 that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force lowered the age from 50 to 45 to start screenings for the average person.

I write all of this in hopes you all are getting screened.

Facts and figures about colon cancer:

• Lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 25 for women.

• Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and the fourth leading cause in women in the United States. It’s the second most common cause of cancer deaths when numbers for men and women are combined.

• Expected number of deaths this year—53,010.

• Death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping in older adults for several decades, which in large part is attributed to screenings and better treatment.

• In people younger than 55 death rates have been increasing about 1 percent each year since the mid-2000s.

Source: American Cancer Society

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