Doctors urge people to get tested for colon cancer in wake of Kirstie Alley’s death
The death of actor Kirstie Alley shocked fans across the nation when her family announced she died from colon cancer on Monday.
Doctors are urging people to recognize the signs in hopes of preventing the deadly illness.
Dr. Rabia de Latour, gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, says 50,000 Americans die from colon cancer a year.
"Earlier stage cancers of any kind really have higher survival rates, higher cure rates and lower mortality rates,” says De Latour. “Whereas late stage cancer in especially those who have spread to other organs, which we define as stage 4 cancer, those have higher mortality rates unfortunately, lower curative rates."
She recommends people get their regular colonoscopy screenings when they turn 45, unless you have a family history of the disease - in which case you should be screened at 40.
Symptoms include having blood in your stool and change in its shape or size.