Health professionals urge breast and colon screenings - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Health professionals urge breast and colon screenings

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Many of you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

You've probably started to see the pink pop up around the Heartland as businesses and individuals show their support.

But one campaign is urging you to get another cancer preventing screening.

Research shows breast cancer awareness has changed the way people act, so nationally nearly 75 percent of women are getting their recommended screenings.

But when it comes to colon cancer screenings, that number is just over 55 percent.

So the Colon Cancer Alliance is launching their "Screen this too" campaign.

According to research from the National Cancer Institute, studies show breast cancer patients have between a 20 and 80 percent increased risk of colon cancer.

Dr. Brent Keller with Southeast Hospital said it's the third leading cause of cancer death.

He said people should start getting screened at the age of 50.

"That helps prevent colon cancer, so it's largely a preventable disease, if we get screened, and the main screening modality is colonoscopy," said Keller.

If you have cancer in your family, Dr. Kelley said you might want to start screenings before the age of 50.

Dr. Kelley said colon cancer usually doesn't show symptoms in stage one or two. She he said it's important to get screened to catch the cancer.

"No symptoms, doesn't cause bleeding or weight loss, or pain, and colon cancer sometimes the first stage and stage two there are no symptoms," said Keller.

Dr. Keller said there has been better colon cancer awareness in recent years, but said there can always be more.

Like a breast exam, he said a colon screening can save a life.

You can check out the new campaign here

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