BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, with health organizations raising awareness of what is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States for both men and women.
About 130,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year, and about 50,000 die from the disease.
Colorectal cancer is a cancer of the colon and rectum, and it’s a lot more common than people think.
Last year, actor Chadwick Boseman lost his battle to colon cancer at 43 years old.
Normally, it’s recommended that screenings begin at 50 years old, but if there is a family history of colorectal cancer or advanced adenomas it’s suggested that screenings begin sooner.
Screenings can show a number of things including polyps, abnormal tissue growth that can form in the colon. If caught early through screenings, they can be removed. If the polyps aren’t caught in time, they can progress and turn into cancer.
Dr. Carlos Rodriguez, Chief of Gastroenterology at Kaiser Permanente Stockdale, spoke to 17 News about prevention methods, symptoms, and warning signs of colorectal cancer.