Healthwatch: Raising awareness for colorectal cancer

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

Cases of colorectal cancer in those younger than 50 are on the rise. The rate is increasing by 1.5 percent every day, and researchers don’t know why.

It affects men and women of all ethnicities, however, it is more prevalent in men. One in 23 men and one in 25 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Colon cancer screenings are the number one way to detect early, and that’s also when it’s most treatable.

We spoke to a surgeon at LewisGale about when you should start.

“The newer guidelines suggest that 45 for patients who don’t have any family history,” said Dr. Dominique Dempah. “It’s only if you have any family history of colon cancer that changes. Usually, they want you to start 10 years before the youngest first of your relatives that had it to start the screening.”

A colonoscopy is a very safe and routine procedure. There are new advancements to reduce prep work beforehand.

However, there are other screening options besides a colonoscopy. Dr. Dempah said to talk to your doctor to find the right option.

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