Imagine learning you have Stage 4 cancer at age 29 – you’re a newlywed and the mom of a little boy. Scarlet Lutz of Chapin has colon cancer that has spread to her liver. Her condition is considered terminal. She shared her story in this WIS-TV news report hoping to help others recognize their symptoms and see their doctor promptly. Scarlet’s doctor is Steven Madden, MD, of Lexington Oncology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, who shares his insights on the disease.
The incidence of colon cancer is rapidly increasing in young people. Doctors aren’t sure why, but think it may have to do with diet – including eating a lot of red meat and processed foods – rising obesity rates, smoking and sedentary lifestyles.
Typically, doctors recommend a colon cancer screening called a colonoscopy at age 50 – or younger if you have a family history of the disease. Also – regardless of age – talk to your doctor if you have symptoms including abdominal cramps, blood in the stool, changes in the appearance of the stool, or changes in bowel habits.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death – behind lung cancer. It’s also preventable – and treatable when detected early. Unfortunately, if it’s not caught early and spreads to other parts of the body, it can be difficult to cure. And, more than 60% of people in South Carolina who should have a colonoscopy report never having the screening.
For more information about cancer service at Lexington Medical Center, visit LexMed.com/Cancer.