Colon Cancer Doesn’t Care How Tough You Are: Why Screening at 50 Matters

                                                                                                                                                                                    man in blue dress shirt holding black corded device

You’ve always taken care of yourself. Eaten right, worked out, done everything you were supposed to do to stay healthy. But there’s one thing you can’t out-lift or outrun: colon cancer. Once you hit 50, your risk for colon cancer starts going up. A lot. And this isn’t some wimpy disease. Colon cancer is the real deal—it kills. But here’s the good news: when caught early through screening, colon cancer is also often preventable. So don’t be too proud or too tough to get checked out. Colon cancer screening isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of wisdom. And getting that colonoscopy or at-home test at 50 could save your life. Because when it comes to colon cancer, it doesn’t matter how strong or fit or healthy you are. The only thing that matters is that you take it on, head-on, starting at 50.

Colon Cancer Is a Real Threat for Men Over 50

Colon Cancer Doesn’t Care How Tough You Are: Why Screening at 50 Matters

Colon cancer is a real threat for guys over 50. This disease doesn’t care how macho or invincible you think you are—it can strike anyone. The good news is colon cancer is often preventable. The key is getting screened starting at age 50.

Early screening is critical because colon cancer usually doesn’t cause any symptoms at first. By the time you notice changes in your bowel habits, rectal bleeding, or unexplained weight loss, the cancer may have already spread. But with screening like a colonoscopy, doctors can find and remove precancerous polyps before they turn into cancer.

A colonoscopy only takes about 30 minutes and is usually done under sedation so you won’t feel a thing. The prep—cleaning out your colon the day before—isn’t fun, but it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and potentially lifesaving results. If polyps are found, the doctor can remove them right then, reducing your colon cancer risk by up to 90%.

Yes, turning 50 means you’re not as young as you used to be. But with age comes wisdom, and getting scoped out at this age is one of the wisest health moves you can make. Don’t buy into the myth that “real men” don’t get checked out. Real men value their health and want to stick around for their loved ones as long as possible. So this year, give yourself the gift of screening. Your family will thank you for it.

Understanding Your Risk Factors for Colon Cancer

Once you hit the big 5-0, it’s time to understand your risk factors for colon cancer. Age is the number one risk factor, with over 90% of cases occurring in people 50 and older.

Family history

If you have a close relative (parent, sibling, child) who’s had colon cancer, your risk doubles. Be sure to tell your doctor about your family’s health history. They may recommend earlier or more frequent screenings based on your risk.

Inflammatory bowel disease

Conditions like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease increase your colon cancer risk. Talk to your gastroenterologist about a screening schedule that makes sense for your situation.

  • Diet and lifestyle

Eating lots of red meat, especially processed meat, and being overweight or obese can up your odds. Limit red meat, avoid processed meat, exercise regularly, quit smoking, and lose excess pounds to help lower your risk.

Of course, the best way to stay on top of your colon health is through regular screenings. For most people, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends a colonoscopy every 10 years starting at age 50. Earlier or more frequent tests may be needed for those at high risk.

While colon cancer is often preventable through screening, it doesn’t care how tough you are if undetected. Take charge of your health and get screened. Early detection of any polyps or colon cancer is critical to successful treatment and long-term survival. Your life could depend on it!

The Importance of Following Screening Guidelines at 50

After you turn 50, colon cancer screening becomes critical. The guidelines recommend getting regular colonoscopies to detect any precancerous polyps or colon cancer early on. Here are a few reasons why following the screening guidelines at age 50 and beyond can save your life:

Colon cancer is a silent killer.

Colon cancer often has no symptoms in the early stages. By the time symptoms appear, the cancer may have spread and be more difficult to treat. Colonoscopies can find precancerous polyps and colon cancer at an early stage when treatment is most effective.

Precancerous polyps are common after 50.

Polyps are abnormal growths in the colon that can turn into cancer over time. The older you get, the higher the risk of polyps forming. A colonoscopy allows the doctor to find and remove any precancerous polyps during the procedure before they become cancer.

Colon cancer risk increases with age.

After 50, the risk of colon cancer rises sharply. In the U.S., about 90% of colon cancer cases are diagnosed in people over 50. The colon cancer screening guidelines recognize this increased risk, which is why regular colonoscopies are recommended starting at age 50 for most people of average risk.

While colonoscopies can be unpleasant to prepare for and undergo, they are currently the most effective way to detect colon cancer at an early stage. Be sure to talk to your doctor about scheduling your first colonoscopy around your 50th birthday, and follow their recommended schedule for follow-up screenings based on your personal risk factors and screening results. Early detection is key—getting checked could save your life.

What to Expect During a Colonoscopy Screening

A colonoscopy screening is the most effective way to check for colon cancer or precancerous polyps. When you turn 50, your doctor will likely recommend scheduling your first colonoscopy. Here’s what you can expect during the procedure:


The preparation for a colonoscopy typically involves changing your diet and using laxatives to completely clear out your colon. You’ll need to follow a liquid diet for 1-2 days before the procedure and take laxatives to induce diarrhea and dehydration. This emptying out process, though unpleasant, is necessary for your doctor to get a clear view of your colon during the colonoscopy.

The Procedure

During the actual colonoscopy, you’ll be under light sedation while a long, flexible tube with a camera is inserted into your rectum and guided through your colon. The camera allows your doctor to view your colon in real time on a monitor and look for any abnormalities. If polyps are detected, they can often be removed during the procedure. A colonoscopy typically only takes 30-60 minutes to perform.


You’ll need some time to recover from the sedation after the colonoscopy. You’ll stay at the hospital or clinic for 1-2 hours until the sedation wears off. You may feel groggy for the rest of the day, so have someone drive you home after the procedure. Mild cramping is normal, but severe pain could indicate a perforation and you should contact your doctor. You can eat normally as soon as you feel up for it, but avoid alcohol for 24 hours. Most people are able to return to normal activities the next day.

Getting a colonoscopy at 50 can truly be lifesaving. Don’t put it off out of fear of discomfort. Knowing what to expect and why colon cancer screening really matters at this age can help put your mind at ease. Early detection of colon cancer or precancerous polyps through routine colonoscopies gives you the best chance of successful treatment or even prevention.

Staying Vigilant With Ongoing Screenings for Prevention

Once you’ve had that initial colonoscopy after turning 50, it’s critical to stay on top of follow-up screenings to catch any colon cancer early. Colon cancer is often curable when detected in its early stages, but it requires ongoing vigilance.

Schedule regular colonoscopies

The general guidelines recommend a colonoscopy every 5-10 years for people with average risk. However, your doctor may recommend more frequent screenings depending on your personal risk factors. Don’t delay – schedule your next colonoscopy as recommended by your physician. Early detection of colon cancer or precancerous polyps can save your life.

Watch for symptoms

In between colonoscopies, be on alert for any signs of colon cancer like changes in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, unexplained weight loss, or constant abdominal pain. While many of these symptoms are often caused by other conditions, if you notice anything unusual it’s best to consult your doctor right away. Early diagnosis of colon cancer is critical.

Make lifestyle changes

Reducing your risk factors for colon cancer is just as important as screenings. Focus on living a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, losing excess pounds, eating more fruits and vegetables, and limiting red and processed meats. Excess body weight, a sedentary lifestyle, and a diet high in fat and low in fiber can increase your colon cancer risk. Making positive changes to your diet and exercise habits at any age can have significant benefits for colon health and overall wellness.

Spread awareness

Talk to your family and friends about the importance of colon cancer screening, especially for those over 50 or with a family history of the disease. Encourage your loved ones to get screened and make healthy lifestyle changes. Together, we can beat this disease through early detection and prevention. Colon cancer screening saves lives, so spread the word!


So there you have it. Colon cancer is a formidable foe, and it doesn’t care how young or tough or invincible you think you are. Waiting until symptoms appear is too late. The best way to beat this beast is to catch it early through recommended screenings starting at age 50. Make that appointment today – your life is worth it. Don’t make excuses and don’t put it off another day. Colon cancer screening isn’t the most pleasant experience, but living to see your grandkids grow up sure is. Be the hero – get screened and spread the word to your friends and family. Colon cancer may not care how tough you are, but together we can show it how tough we are by beating it through prevention and early detection. The power is in your hands – use it!man in blue dress shirt holding black corded device

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