WYOMING NEWS SERVICE, Casper, WY – The month of March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society is reporting some good news – colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates have declined significantly over the past decade, because of early detection and better treatments.
But don't tell colon cancer survivor Robert Webster – not to be confused with our Sheridan City Councilman – that it's a disease that only strikes people over 50. His daughter was also diagnosed with the disease, and that happened when she was just 20. That's why Webster is volunteering as a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society about the importance of recognizing symptoms, understanding risks, and getting screened.
While normal screening starts at age 50, Webster says he and his family got tested much younger. And there are symptoms such as blood in the stool, a change in bowel habits, and abdominal pain that merit a check with a doctor.
Then, he says, there is prevention.
The American Cancer Society says there is proof that early detection, better treatments and healthier lifestyles are working, because colorectal cancer rates have dropped significantly over the past decade.
Even so, the Wyoming Department of Health lists it as the second-leading cancer cause of death.