March marks Colorectal Cancer Month, Here Is What You Need to Know

March 30, 2024 - WILX

MSU Health Care colorectal surgeon Dr. Jacquelyn Charbel

Originally published March 21, 2024 on

Often when it comes to cancer, finding it early through screenings is the key to survival. This is especially true when it comes to colorectal cancer, often categorized as a silent cancer.

“Typically with colorectal cancer you don’t present with signs until it’s at a later stage,”
Jacquelyn Charbel, DO, colorectal surgeon at MSU Health Care who practices at Karmanos Cancer Institute. “If it does get to the point where the cancer is symptomatic, you might see a change in your bowel habits, blood in your stool, or abdominal pain.”

Regular colonoscopy screening is recommended for a person of average risk at the age of 45; however, if you are at an elevated risk for developing colorectal cancer, you may begin colonoscopy screenings earlier.

“Getting a colonoscopy screening is the best thing you can do for yourself to prevent colorectal cancer,” said Dr. Charbel. “If you have a family member who has had colorectal cancer, you are at higher risk and may need to begin screening earlier. You should also be screened before 45 if you have any of the symptoms such as change in bowel habits or blood in the stool.”