What people born in their 90s should know about their risk for colon cancer

HOUSTON – LaTaisha Poe Cherry, a 47-year-old woman is like many. She’s in her 40s, takes care of others, works and doesn’t worry about colonoscopies. It was something else that brought her to the doctor.

“I was like, ‘Okay, well, something’s wrong. I feel like something…I have some kind of blockage,” she said.

It’s a classic story for colorectal surgeons.

Often, patients do not have painful symptoms. Often it can be something nagging or an unusual feeling that prompts them to go on a date. However, if these symptoms are ignored, it can cost them their lives.

“While there are a number of treatments for colorectal cancer, the number one treatment is actually prevention,” said Dr. George Chang of MD Anderson Cancer Center.

This year, about 4,300 Texans will die of colorectal cancer, while about three times that number will be diagnosed with it for the first time, according to the American Cancer Society. Moreover, the patient population is apparently getting younger every year.

Previous guidelines ordered people to get tested from the age of 50, which was recently reduced to 45. However, there are growing concerns about the diagnosis of patients in their thirties.

“A person born in the 1990s is twice as likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer and four times as likely to be diagnosed with rectal cancer compared to someone born in the 1950s” , said Dr. Nancy You of MD Anderson Cancer. Center.

How to reverse this deadly trend

1. Move more – avoid sedentary lifestyles

2. Don’t be shy – talk to your doctor about your bowels and any changes

3. Get tested – at age 45, or earlier if there is a family history

LaTaisha is happy to have been screened, but wishes she had done so sooner since hers had already progressed to stage 3 when she was diagnosed. She said she had to endure a lot of chemo and radiation.

“If you feel anything is wrong, even in the slightest, you know there is something wrong with my body, go get tested,” she warned. “At first, it will save you from radiation. This will save you chemo. It will save your life.

Q: Who is most at risk?

According to the ACS, one in 23 men and one in 26 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime. Black men are more at risk.

Q: How much does it cost to get tested?

In Texas, there is a law guaranteeing that your colonoscopy is free.

Q: Should home tests be trusted?

The ACS suggests you talk to your doctor, “but the most important thing is to get tested, whatever tests you choose.”

Talk to your health care provider about tests that might be good options for you and to your insurance provider about your coverage.

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