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Colon Cancer Screenings Recommended Five Years Sooner

The American Cancer Society recommends people get screened for colon cancer five years sooner; moving the age from 50 to 45.

“It was noticed that the highest increase in findings in colon cancer were under the age of 50, compared to lower incidents experienced in patients over 50. That means we’re missing quite a considerable amount of colon cancers under the age of 50,” Dr. Juan Herrera at Lee Health said.

Herrera said the majority of colon cancers are sporadic and the exact triggers are rare. He also said two of the strongest associations with colon cancer are obesity and smoking.

But stresses, “An association is not a causation.”

“We encourage patients to do something, at least do something to get screened,” he said.

Dr. Herrera said there are several options in Southwest Florida for people looking to take preventative measures.

Options besides just the colonoscopy.

“There’s other non-invasive modalities such as stool testing, which involves testing for blood in the stool once a year,” explained Dr. Herrera.

He said there’s also image study testing and DNA analysis.

“Colonoscopy has been proven to be the most reliable,” he said.