Importance of Colorectal Cancer Screening
As part of our 2020 colon cancer awareness campaign, survivors Mary-Karen and Buddy were gracious enough to share their different, but equally important stories. At the time of Mary-Karen’s diagnosis, the recommended colorectal cancer screening age was 50 years old for those of average risk. Mary-Karen was only 39. She had no family history and was also pregnant with her and her husband’s first baby. She was experiencing symptoms that could have been related to pregnancy but her GYN-OB recommended she visit a gastroenterologist. While the death rate of colon cancer has been dropping for several decades, there has been an increase in the number of cases in those under 55 years old. This is why the American Cancer Society has lowered the recommended screening age to 45 and why Mary-Karen’s story is so important. If you’re under the recommended screening age, be aware of the symptoms and have open communication with your physician. It saved the life of Mary-Karen and her baby. Our second survivor is Buddy, who shares his story in an effort to encourage people who are of the recommended age to get screened. Colonoscopy is unique in the fact that is not only used to detect colon cancer, but can prevent it as well. When caught early, polyps can be removed before the turn into cancer. It can take 10 years for a polyp to turn into cancer. Buddy was 12 years overdue for his screening. Mary-Karen and Buddy volunteered their time to spread the message of how important it is to take care of your health by getting screened. Please share their stories to help save the life of your loved ones.