BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer and cancer death in the United States.
“The proportion of men and women are about the same, about 4 percent or one out of 25 people in the U.S.," Dr. David Mattson director of gastrointestinal program in radio medicine at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center said. "However, among the African American community there's about a 20% higher incident of colorectal cancer.”
According to national guidelines, everyone should begin colon screenings by the age of 50, but Mattson said those with increase risk should go earlier.
“Colorectal cancer screenings save lives,” he said.
Dr. Mattson suggests taking a colonoscopy or doing an at home stool test. He also suggests adapting healthy habits.
“Eating more fruits and vegetables," he said. "[less] fatty foods and processed meats.”
He also suggests exercising and not abusing tobacco or alcohol.
“So addressing those things are important things to do to reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer,” Mattson said.
Common signs of colorectal cancer include abdominal pain, blood in the stool, or unintentional weight loss.
“So if you experience any of those symptoms it would be worth seeing your doctor and having that looked into," he said.