Health department raising awareness of colon cancer

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and Bear River Health Department officials say it is a good time for those 50 and older to make a screening appointment. Health department deputy director Dr. Ed Redd says colon cancer is the second most deadly cancer for both men and women. Yet he says according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention most of these deaths could be prevented if everyone over the age of 50 got screened. Dr. Redd says there are often no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer until it becomes far advanced. If left undiagnosed or undetected, this cancer can spread throughout the body and become incurable. Dr. Redd says screening can prevent the disease and early detection is the best prevention. He says people over age 50 are at highest risk for colon cancer. Other risk factors include smoking, having a family history of colorectal cancer and being African American. Dr. Redd says people with risk factors should be screened earlier than age 50.

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