According to Local Memphis, March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Colon cancer doesn't get talked about a whole lot in comparison to the other types of cancer because it is easier to beat.
"Colorrectal cancer, it's beatable, treatable, and preventable," said Sandra Hamilton of American Cancer Society.
Still, colon cancer leaves a lasting impact and can be fatal if left untreated. Newsnet5.com puts this form of cancer among the top 5 when it comes to fatalities, with the number of deaths at about 50,000 per year.
For a cancer that is easily prevented these numbers are relatively high. And the biggest thing to do in terms of prevention is to get tested, generally with a colonoscopy at the age of 50.
"Screening is everything," said Dr. Feza Remzi, a colorectal surgeon at Cleveland Clinic. "It's plain and simple. It's very unfortunate that you lose a golden opportunity like that."
While the recommended age for a screening is 50, constant abdominal pain may warrant a checkup as well. NH Voice reports that more and more young adults are being diagnosed with colon cancer. Doctors still aren't sure of the cause, but note that it tends to be more aggressive in younger patients. Patients like Austin Thomas, a dietitian who was diagnored with colon cancer days after celebrating her 27th birthday.
"Cancer doesn't discriminate," said Thomas.