MURRAY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) — Colon cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in Utah for both men and women.
Most cases are preventable through colonoscopies, but despite vigorous campaigns, one in 3 adults are not getting it done.
Karen Coleman’s family learned the hard way.
“he was so ingrained in the fabric of outdoors in Utah.”
Doug Miller, popular, longtime broadcaster and outdoorsman in Utah, grew a huge fan base from sideline coverage for BYU football and his series ‘Outdoors with Doug Miller.’
Coleman, “my dad was such an amazing man. Everybody felt they knew my dad. I did know my dad and he was larger than life. What you saw on camera was who he was. I wish he was still here.”
Sadly, Doug Miller’s life was cut short, at the age of 58, because of colon cancer. His daughter, Karen Coleman has since become a spokesperson for colon cancer awareness and prevention.
Dr. Chaya Krishnamurthy, MD, Intermountain Medical Center, “colon cancer is 90% preventable when treated in early stages which is what colonoscopy does. We go in there take out the polyps which can be pre cancerous.”
Because of her dad’s history of colorectal cancer, Karen was screened early at age 36 instead of the recommendation of age 50.
During Karen’s colonoscopy doctors found polyps in her colon.
“he absolutely saved my life. I had no symptoms. I felt nothing and when I woke up the doctor said Karen you and your dad saved your life today.”
Dr. Krishnamurthy, “one in 20 are destined to get colon cancer.”
Doctors at Intermountain Medical Center say a little inconvenience at home, prepping for a colonoscopy, is well worth it.
Once you’ve had a clean colonoscopy you don’t have to do it again for another 10 years.
75% of colorectal cancers occur in those with no family or personal history of the disease.
-If found early, survival for colon cancer is 92%. If not, survival is 8%.
-About 9 out of 10 people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are at least 50 years old.
-Men and women aged 50 and older should get a colonscopy every 10 years.
-A colonoscopy is the most effective way to detect colorectal cancer.
-The links between diet, weight, exercise, and colorectal cancer risk are some of the strongest for any type of cancer.
-Diets high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains have been linked with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer.
-To decrease your risk of colon cancer, avoid smoking and heavy alcohol use. .