Colon cancer screenings recommended starting at age 45

March is "National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month."

According to the Centers for Disease Control, regular screenings should begin when you turn 45 years old.

Those with a family history of cancer should get checked out sooner.

"Colonoscopies, which is a really important part of the screening process for colorectal cancer, they’re really helpful when you have a problem and it helps us identify whether there is an issue going on, like a cancer," said Arielle Kanters, MD, colorectal surgeon for Cleveland Clinic. "But, it can also help us identify polyps that could eventually turn into a cancer."

Symptoms of colorectal cancer can include change in bowel habits, blood in your stool, abdominal pain, and unexplained weight loss.

While the exact cause of colorectal cancer varies from person-to-person, there are certain risk factors like age, being overweight, unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle and alcohol or tobacco use.