MountainView Hospital - March 01, 2022
by Mary Miller

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. This month gives us the opportunity to educate ourselves and our loved ones on the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer.

According to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, colorectal cancer is cancer within the colon or rectum. These types of cancers are often preventable with screening and can be highly treatable when detected early.

Dr. Garrett Friedman, Colon and Rectal Surgeon at MountainView Hospital, says that colon cancer is currently on the rise specifically in young patients.

“We are seeing more and more cases of patients as young as 30 years old having symptoms of colon cancer,” Dr. Friedman said. “If you’re having severe bleeding from your bottom, lots of abdominal pain or losing weight, it might be worth asking your primary care doctor if a colonoscopy is appropriate for you.” 

A colonoscopy allows a complete look at your colon to ensure there are no cancerous or pre-cancerous growths and sometimes even remove them before they become cancerous.

“It’s important to catch these things early before they metastasize and go on to spread somewhere else,” Dr. Friedman said. “A colonoscopy allows us to catch lesions earlier, diagnose them and then intervene as appropriate.”  

Dr. Matthew Selleck, MountainView Hospital Surgical Oncologist says that while colon cancer can sometimes be a result of genetics, there are some small lifestyle changes that can help us prevent our risk of colon cancer.

“Diets with lots of fruits and vegetables, diets high in fiber, avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol intake have all been shown to be beneficial in reducing the chance of getting colon cancer,” Dr. Selleck said.

To learn more about Colorectal and Surgical Oncology care at MountainView Hospital, visit Complex Surgical Specialists (