Getting screened can save your Life
His listeners know him as Quake from SportTalk, but Scott McMahen knew it was time to take an important time out for his health.
"I turned 50 in August and had a lot of people tell me it's time to do it, so I'm here today," McMahen said.
Every year, about 140,000 Americans get colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die from it which is why getting screened is so important.
"I had a really close friend of mine whose brother passed away from colon cancer and he didn't get the screening in time," McMahen said.
The risk increases with age. More than 90 percent of colorectal cancers occur in people who are 50 years old or older.
Dr. Shauna Lorenzo-Rivero, Colorectal Surgeon, Univ. Surgical Associates said, "currently the age for starting screenings is 50, the American Cancer Society requests we move the age down to 45 for everybody."
But Dr. Lorenzo-Rivero says if you have a family history, you need to start earlier.
"If you have colon cancer in your family we want to do your colon screening ten years younger than the first person in your family who had polyps," Dr. Shauna Lorenzo-Rivero said.
Getting screened is important because Dr. Lorenzo-Rivero says there are some common symptoms that can often be overlooked or mistaken for other conditions.
"Symptoms may be a change in your bowel movement, so if you have diarrhea or constipation, if you have blood in your stool, abdominal pain, losing weight, those are symptoms," Dr. Shauna Lorenzo-Rivero explained.
The good news is colon cancer is very curable when caught and treated.
"Colon cancer if it starts to spread in the colon the first thing we would do is surgery if it's gone past the colon, we add chemotherapy," Dr. Shauna Lorenzo-Rivero added.
Dr. Lorenzo-Rivero said it can also spread to other parts of the body.
As for McMahen, he didn't want to take any chances, which is why he made sure to get his colonoscopy.
"For sure colonoscopies save lives," McMahen said.
Some things you can do to try and prevent colon cancer are be physically active, keep a healthy weight, don't drink too much alcohol and don't smoke.
The 2019 Greater Chattanooga Rump Run for colon cancer awareness takes place this Saturday at Enterprise South Nature Park. All proceeds from the event will go to support the Greater Chattanooga Colon Cancer Foundation's mission to support those affected by the disease.
You can register online on the day of the race.