University of Minnesota health officials are highlighting the importance of early screening in March as part of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.   Doctor Emil Lou says colorectal is one of the few cancers that has a validated screening method to find it early:

“I’m seeing more and more patients well under age 50 who don’t have any known colorectal cancer cases  in their family and are getting diagnosed with early stage or late stage colorectal cancer. National studies have really pushed for more  awareness of considering  screening at an earlier age and now it’s become 45 instead of 50.”

Many cases are first detected during a colonoscopy.  Doctor Lou says the earlier the cancer is found the more likely it is to be treatable with intent to cure.  Colorectal is the third-most detected cancer in Minnesota.