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Colon cancer checks should be earlier than age 50

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Mike Gibson’s article about Kevin McClure’s cancer brought back sad memories of my son’s bout with colon cancer.
Unlike Mr. McClure’s, my son’s had advanced to stage 4 when he was accidentally diagnosed while being treated for a kidney stone attack.
He died at 45 years old a little over a year ago.
As Bill Williams of WBIR TV says in a public sevice announcement, colon cancer is a silent killer.
Surgeons said the start of the cancer could have been active in my son as much as 10 years earlier.
That means to think of colon cancer as something to worry about ONLY if you are 55 or older or if there is a family history of colon cancer as Williams suggests should be reconsidered in view of the recent flurry of cases in much younger people.
Colonoscopies can save many lives and especially if performed routinely on people beginning in their thirties.
I would like Bill Williams, whom I admire greatly, to update his public service announcement to reflect the younger ages of the many patients who develop this treatable disease.
I would also like to hear his public service announcement describe the typical symptoms that early-stage colon cancer victims experience and might easily disregard or self treat with over-the-counter medicines.
 I have no formal medical training, but my experience with my son and with friends who are being treated for colon cancer makes me believe the public still needs more detailed information about the symptoms and early detection and treatment of this disease.
I hope local doctors and health professionals will add to this discussion — it could save many lives and save many dollars in chemotherapy treatments and the accompanying discomfort.
It is my hope that Mr. McClure’s cancer was detected early enough for the chemotherapy to do it’s job and return him to good health.
B.J. Gillum
Rockwood