PHOENIX (FOX 10) - March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. One Valley doctor is speaking out about the strides and setbacks when it comes to fighting colon cancer.
"First of all the incidents of colon cancer are declining in the United States steadily in the last 20 years and also the death rate from colon cancer is dropping significantly in the last 20 years," said Dr. Tom Dragovich.
Dr. Tom Dragovich, an oncologist at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, says colon cancer is the second-leading cancer death for men and women combined.
The battle against the disease is making a difference thanks mostly to early detection, but now colon cancer is hitting a new generation.
"In the last 20 years we have seen this trend that younger patients are diagnosed and sometimes have advanced disease that's why the American Cancer Society recommended starting screening earlier at the age of 45, it used to be 50 now for the age of 45," said Dr. Dragovich.
"We don't understand exactly what are the factors influencing this increase in incidence in younger people," said Dr. Dragovich. "We suspect it has to do with lifestyle and diet but there is no single factor that has been identified."