Digital Exclusive: Health officials lower age for colon cancer screenings

Digital Exclusive

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – It’s never too early to see a doctor, especially when you might be at risk for colon cancer.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends folks as young as 45 get screened for colorectal cancer, lowering it from age 50 as it was previously.

“They were doing a lot of studies and they found out that people starting from 45 to 50 are getting colon cancer and these cancers are more aggressive and they tend to spread faster and grow faster,” said Dr. Gokul Subhas, Colorectal Surgeon at UnityPoint Health Physician Center.

Dr. Gokul Subhas of the UnityPoint Clinic on Pierce St. said the main idea behind lowering the age requirement was so that hospitals can catch the disease at a much earlier stage.

While it’s not known exactly what is causing younger patients to develop colon cancer, several theories attribute genetics, environment, and diet as a possibility.

“I think all these factors are playing some role and we do see changes in the trend and we’re seeing younger patients getting colon cancer a little bit more compared to what it used to be,” said Dr. Subhas.

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