When the pandemic began, you may have had a colonoscopy postponed for what you thought would just be a short time.

But these life saving cancer screenings have been back for a while now and it’s time to get routine colonoscopies back on track.

Medical centers have seen concerning declines in the number of people coming in for routine colonoscopies.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States and doctors fear delays in screening and diagnosis may lead to more advanced stage cancers and poor outcomes.

Colorectal cancer is preventable when pre-cancerous polyps are found and removed. That’s why screening is so important.

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic said that a colonoscopy is considered the gold standard in colorectal screening, but at home options are available as well.

“There’s a couple of different tests that are out there, but in essence, it’s essentially taking a sample of stool, wipe it on a card, send it in and that can be a screening test to see is there blood in the stool. That would warrant another further investigation,” said Dr. Scott Steele, MD, Chairman of the Department of colorectal Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.

The American Cancer Society recommends adults at average risk for colorectal cancer be screened at age 45.

People at high risk including those with a family history of polyps or colon cancer may be due sooner.