Medical Monday: Colorectal cancer early detection is the key to survival

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death, but the death rate is decreasing according to The American Cancer Society. One of the reasons for the decrease is early detection. A colonoscopy is the test most commonly used for early detection.

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Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center Oncology Nurse Navigator Kay Hankins said, "Today, we have over one million survivors of colorectal cancer alive, and that is due to the screenings that the patients are proactive with."

Doctors recommend a colonoscopy beginning at the age of 50 and earlier if there's a family history or other symptoms. Symptoms can include a change in bowel habits, blood in the stool, and abdominal pain to name a few.

Click on the video attached to this article to hear the story of a patient who was diagnosed with colon cancer after her husband passed away from the same cancer. She's speaking out to stress the importance of early detection.