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Living Well: Colon Cancer Screening

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Colon cancer screenings for all adults should now start at age 45. One woman from Florida says not to ignore these new guidelines.

Colon cancer survivor Jayne Giroux knows the consequences of waiting too long to be screened. 

Jayne Giroux says "I was 56 when I had my first screening and when I came out of anesthesia the doctor said I'm so sorry you have a large mass, we're pretty sure it's cancer. And I thought maybe I was still asleep because its just such a shock to hear those words." 

People are now hearing those words at even younger ages, the American Cancer Society estimates close to 16,000  new colorectal cancer cases this year will be in people under 50. Oncologist and Hematologist Dr. Anjan Patel says now all men and women will be eligible for colonoscopy screenings starting at age 45. 

Guidelines for length of time between testing have not changed. Jayne Giroux says listen to the guidelines, because you never know if it could happen to you. 

"I think if I had had my screening at 50 this might have been the simple removal of a polyp.  Instead this was a stage 3 cancer, that had spread to a lymphnode, I had six months of chemotherapy, major surgery, and I constantly at that time thought why had I not done this when I was supposed to" says Jayne.

Medical experts say you should consult your own doctor about screening because your family medical history may call for screenings even earlier than 45.

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