In this featured newscast on WESH2 News, Sanjay K. Reddy, M.D., a board-certified gastroenterologist, discusses who is most at risk of getting colorectal cancer and the importance of getting screened early for the disease.

This year, more than 145,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. According to Dr. Reddy, physicians used to look for colon cancer in patients who came to the office with symptoms including pain, bleeding, and weight loss. However, the focus has now shifted to wellness and prevention and trying to find evidence of pre-cancerous lesions or polyps before they cause symptoms. That can only be accomplished through proper screening.

Colonoscopy is the gold standard test for colorectal cancer, and it is recommended typically once every ten years, starting from the age of forty-five. One out of 22 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer during their lifetime; it’s the number two cause of cancer death in the U.S. among men and women.