High colon cancer rates in south Georgia, get tested - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

High colon cancer rates in south Georgia, get tested

Jacqueline Jenkins Jacqueline Jenkins

If you are 50 or older health officials are urging you to get tested for colon cancer. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it is also one of the most preventable.

Anyone can be diagnosed with the disease but it's target audience are men and women age 50 and older. Epidemiologist Jacqueline Jenkins with the Southwest Georgia Public Health District says is a very delicate time, it's when polyps tend to develop. Polyps are abnormal growths located in the colon, if not discovered early on it can become cancerous. Jenkins says in south Georgia the rate of the disease are high.

That's why those at the American Cancer Society as well as from The SWGA Public Health District want you to set up an appointment as soon as possible if you fall in this category.

Serious signs to look out for include, loosing weight rapidly and not know why, stomach pains and cramps that won't go away, or finding blood in stool. But sometimes there are no obvious signs that you may in early stages of colon cancer, this is where screening comes into place.

There are a handful of different types of tests you can take such as a colonoscopy, high-sensitivity FOBT, or sigmoidoscopy. Every body is different and it will be up to your doctor to determine what test is right for you.

Health officials recommend to speak to your physician about any family history regarding colon cancer, this puts you at a higher risk. But even if you don't have a history you can still develop the disease.

CDC guidelines

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