This week is the Colorectal Cancer Alliance's "Young Survivors Week".
This year, in addition to celebrating the fact that I'm still here, I'm also celebrating the American Cancer Society's recent announcement that they are changing the recommended age to start getting screened to 45. This reflects the rising number of diagnoses in people who are younger than the previously recommended screening age of 50.
While this change wouldn't have helped me (I was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer when I was 41), it WILL save more lives.
Colorectal Cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, according to ACS. The later the stage, the lower a person's chance of survival 5 years post-diagnosis. Often there are no signs in early stages, but a screening would reveal this often silent cancer.
All of this is to say, listen to your body and to the American Cancer Society. If you have symptoms - ANY of the symptoms - or if you are 45 or older, please get screened. The folks at the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at the DHMC Norris Cotton Cancer Center are just phenomenal. Tell them I sent you. They'll take good care of you.