Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The month of March is dedicated to raising awareness of the disease.
According to the American Cancer Society, if we exclude skin cancers – colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the U.S. and some people may not even notice they have it.
“Early colon cancer is asymptomatic so that means you don’t have any symptoms and that’s why people say ‘Oh I don’t have any problems why should I get a test done to find out if I have colon cancer?” said Dr. Sudhaker Reddy at Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center.
Dr. Reddy recommends everyone gets a colonoscopy at the age of 50 or earlier- especially if there’s a family history of the disease.
“I think the biggest thing is don’t procrastinate, you know, go in at age 50 and get your screening done so you know where you are,” said Dr. Reddy.
The risk for colorectal cancer increases as you get older and some may be at more risk than others.
“If you have a family history, then you definitely are. If you have ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, you are at higher risk,” said Dr. Reddy.
The outpatient procedure typically takes 15 to 30 minutes.
“The ones that we have cured are the ones we found early when they had no symptoms,” said Dr. Reddy.
For more information about colon or rectal cancer click here.