March is also Colorectal or Colon Cancer Awareness Month.Once a cancer that was more evident in men and women aged 50 and above, the cancer which has one of the highest mortality rates of cancers in the US is now found frequently in younger people.Jackson Memorial Hospital internist, Dr. Marshall Vasquez, describes colon cancer as one of the more “insidious cancers,” because the symptoms are not usually revealed until the cancer has advanced. This, he says, is the reason why preventative medical examinations is vital important for individuals to have done every three or four years depending on one’s age to determine if one has problems, usually polyps in the colon. Especially the lower colon or intestines, and rectum.The cancer is called colon cancer if it is discovered in the colon and rectal cancer if discovered in the rectum.It is not unusual for abnormal cells to grow in the colon and rectum. These cells can merge to form polyps, which can develop into cancer.According to Dr. Vasquez, the best way of determining if one has polyps in the colon/rectal are is to have the preventative medical examination known as a colonoscopy.“During the colonoscopy, the patient is sedated, and a long flexible tube is inserted into the colon through the rectum, The doctor conducting the test is able to get a visual image of the colon from a monitor to which the tube is linked. If polyps are seen, usually the polyps are removed during the procedure. Later a biopsy is taken from the polyps to determine if they are cancerous.”He said despite warnings urgings from within the medical profession of the importance to be screen for colon cancer.“You would be surprised how many people are reluctant to have the screening. Most of these reluctant people cannot tolerate the pre-screening procedure, which involves taking medication to totally cleanse the colon and rectum the night before the screen is done. It is essential that the colon is totally clean for the screening to be effective. Then, there are people wo fear being diagnosed with cancerous polyps if they are screened. But it is imperative that people get colonoscopy’s regularly, say every three or four years, especially between age 50 and 75,” he said.In a 2016 report the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) one in three adults aged 50 to 75 have not been tested for colorectal cancer in te US.Other tests that are useful in determining the possibility of colon cancer is a stool test to determine if one has blood in one’s stool. Blood in the stool is a sign of possible colon disease.The other test is a Sigmoidoscopy. This test is similar to a colonoscopy. A lighted scope is inserted into the lower portion of the intestine. During this test, polyps can also be reduced if identified.