It’s a disease that affects more than 100,000 every year.
It’s colorectal cancer month, and Mayo Clinic Health System is hoping that awareness and testing will increase.
Daisy Batista with Mayo in La Crosse said early detection is key
“If you catch it early you can remove the polyp before it even has a chance to become cancer,” Batista said. “But even if it has already developed into cancer, if you catch it at an early stage where it hasn’t spread and not very advanced, you have many treatment options.”
Signs of the cancer are blood in your stool and abdominal pain, though Batista warns that signs aren’t always visible early on.
That’s why the practice of colonoscopies is so important.
Batista said the discussion of when to get a colonoscopy doesn’t have a clear answer.
“That is because we have been finding more and more colon cancers in younger patients,” she said. “The current recommendation is 45. That’s still a little bit controversial and hasn’t been widely adopted but at the very least the age of 50.”
Those who have a family history of colorectal cancer should tell their health care provider and likely have a colonoscopy sooner.