Colon cancer patient says get tested early
GREENVILLE, Pitt County - March marks Colon Cancer Awareness Month, so doctors are breaking down the facts of the disease.
Colorectal cancer rates have dropped 30 percent in the U.S. over the last 10 years among adults 50 and older. However, it is still the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, despite being highly preventable, detectable and treatable.
The key to diagnosing this disease is a colonoscopy. It's a test you are recommended to get when you turn 50, but Dr. Glenn Harvin with Vidant Health says many people put the test off because of time or the fear of it.
"Obviously the worst part of the procedure is actually the prep the night before where patients have to drink a solution to help clean their bowels out and I would stress to patients it's the important part of the test because the test is only as a good as a physician can see with his eyes," Harvin said.
Harvin says in a recent study, results show Eastern North Carolina as a hot spot for colon cancer so it is important to get tested. Just in North Carolina there are 4,200 new colon cancer cases diagnosed and 1,500 cancer deaths per year.
In 2014 in the U.S., 137,000 cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.