WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mississippi has a higher rate of colon cancer death than any other state in the country. Dr. Aline Charabaty says there’s a few factors behind the number.
“Colonoscopy and screening rates are much lower among the poor and uninsured,” says Dr. Charabaty,” unfortunately in Mississippi there’s a high rate of uninsured and those living in poverty.”
But, there is some good news. Dr. Charabaty says colon cancer is preventable.
“We can detect pre-cancerous lesions called polyps,” says Dr. Charabaty, “the lesions can be removed.”
Other factors prevent polyps from ever happening. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising, not smoking, and getting plenty of vitamin D are all ways to reduce your risk colon cancer, according to Dr. Charabaty.
Men and women are both susceptible to colon cancer. Regular screenings and colonoscopies should start by age 50.
“45 if there is a family history of the cancer,” says Dr. Charabaty.