Eastern Carolina doctor talks screenings during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) – An Eastern Carolina doctor is reminding people to get screened for colorectal cancer.

His message is especially important as March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and the fourth leading cause in women. Dr. Thomas Skelton at CarolinaEast suggests people get screened for this cancer when they turn 45. The age used to be 55. Skelton says that this cancer rarely has symptoms.

Dr. Skelton says there are also a lot of ways to lower your risk.

“There are certain risk factors you can modify. One is your diet. Red meats or processed foods, obesity, alcohol intake, smoking. Those things you can modify. Non-modified risk factors such as age, family history, genetics, you know you have a history of inflammatory bowel disease, all those things increase your risk. So if you think you’re high risk or not it’s important to get screened because this is a curable disease,” says Dr. Skelton.

This type of cancer can be easy to treat if they can catch it in time that’s why Skelton says screenings are so important.

Dr. Skelton predicts about 150,000 new cases in the US this year.