Voice of the consumer: Ways to fight a difficult form of cancer

Katie Pelton
Katie Pelton(KKTV)
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 6:36 AM MDT
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Our 11 News Call For Action team pens a weekly column for our news partner The Gazette. Previous columns can be found here.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - March is Colorectal Cancer Month. A new report from the American Cancer Society (ACS) said colorectal cancer is increasing among younger adults, and the cases are being found at more advanced stages. I am talking with the experts about what is being done to fight the disease and how you can help take preventative steps against it.  You may have seen the interviews on 11 News at Noon.

“The number of people getting colorectal cancer when they are younger; the stage is even later-stage disease, which is actually quite overwhelming and something that we’re trying to definitely address,” said Andrea Dwyer, with the University of Colorado Cancer Center, and the advocacy group, Fight Colorectal Cancer.

Researchers are trying to figure out what is causing the shift. The ACS recently lowered the guideline for screening from 50 to 45 years old. However, if you are experiencing symptoms, or have certain risk factors, you should talk to your doctor even earlier.

“For those folks who are 20, 30 and 40 years old having tummy aches, strange bowel habits, anything like blood in the stool, unexplained weight loss -- colorectal cancer isn’t probably the first thing that people think of but know your body. Know that these things can happen. Have an honest and open discussion with your health care provider,” said Dwyer.

Dwyer said she is advocating for the Cancer Moonshot and is asking the White House and other officials to prioritize Colorectal Cancer. One goal for the Cancer Moonshot is to reduce the cancer death rate by half within 25 years.

“I’m going to Washington DC to help represent, particularly the underrepresented community, rural communities, communities of color,” said Dwyer. “Access of care, talking about how we can really continue to make sure that there’s coverage for screening for those who are eligible, talking about risk factors, what are we doing to really address the issues for people who have family history, really making sure people have resources and follow up after signs and symptoms.”

You can find more information at FightCRC.org

Click here to read the original column on gazette.com.