Colon cancer screenings recommended starting at age 45

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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.