Younger adults dealing with colon cancer

4 Your Health
Data pix.

Colon cancer has a high cure rate if it's caught early. But more and more young people are coming down with the illness. And it has a doctors and patients stumped.Tonight a survivor's story and what we can all learn. Andrea Bauer has quite the story. She's a teacher, ran missions for her church. And then in 2016 she noticed bright red blood in her stool. She was too young for a colonoscopy. But that didn't stop her. And it's a good thing.

"He found the tumor and it was a smaller tumor. The thought was, beginning stages. Dr. Maun did my surgery, he removed 10 inches of my sigmoid colon and all of the lymphnodes around it and three came back as cancerous," said Bauer.

Dr. Dipen Maun is a colorectal surgeon at Franciscan Health. He's very aware Andrea was just 34 when she was diagnosed, and she persisted in getting a colonoscopy.

"She was pushy, absolutely, thank god she was pushy. She was an advocate for herself. Which is why she is here today and can tell her story," said Maun.

Andrea represents this new trend in colon cancer. It's not entirely clear how or why
She got it.

That is without a doubt, the hottest topics, the age groups for colon cancer. Of all the age
Groups across the population, the only age group that is seeing an increase are those under, said Maun.

Andrea could have gotten colon cancer from a toxin in her environment her diet, like too much processed foods. Maybe it was her genetics. One thing for sure, today she is an unabashed advocate for getting checked, as early as possible, if you suspect colon cancer.

Nobody knows your body but you, and everybody's body is different and if you know something is wrong, if something is telling you, you search until you get an answer.

Because of Andrea and others, there is a push now to lower the age of covered colonoscopies to 45. And that's just fine with Dr. Maun.

"The government and all of our societies we follow, has arbitrarily drawn the line at age 50 when screenings should start. And we now feel , we feel that line is a little too far in the sand. And we need to move it down a little bit to 45 or possibly even 40," says Maun.

For more information, visit franciscanhealth.org/4yourhealth

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