Doctors encourage early screening during Colorectal Awareness Month
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S. in both men and women, according to the American College of Gastroenterology. This is why Southeast Health Medical Center and the Alabama Gastro Society are putting education about colon cancer at the forefront. However, their way of teaching is more than handing out the average brochure.
On Thursday, A 10-foot colon inflatable stood tall outside of the front of the medical center to act as an educational tool to bring awareness of colon cancer. It gave people an up‐close up look at the inside of the colon showing the normal tissue but also the various gastrointestinal disorders that doctors can find during a screening.
Dr. Jeff Crittenden is a Gastroenterologist at Southeast Health. He said colon cancer is one of the few cancers that is actually preventable. But, the first step of prevention is screening. He said it is important for people to know the average screening age has dropped from being 50 years old to now 45.
Dr. Crittenden encourages people to get screened. He added it is especially important to think about getting screened if you are someone who has a family history of colon cancer or colon polyps.
Colon cancer is treatable with the primary treatment being surgery.
Dr. Crittenden said they are pushing the message of the importance of screening aggressively for everyone, even the average person at risk.
“Someone who doesn’t have a family history of colon cancer, doesn’t have the medical conditions that puts them at a high risk and someone who’s totally asymptomatic,” Dr. Crittenden said.
Although this inflatable is only outside of hospital on Thursday, doctors say it’s important to care for your colon year-round.
“People should just be aware of trying to take care of themselves by doing appropriate screening whether it’s colon cancer screening or screening for other cancers, skin cancers, breast cancers and what have you,” Dr. Crittenden said.
Dr. Crittenden encourages people who may have concerns or need to schedule a screening to contact their primary care physician.
Click here to watch when Dr. Drew Sarrels joined News4′s Kinsley Centers on Live at Lunch to talk about the signs and symptoms of colon cancer.
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