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The Importance of Colorectal Cancer Screening

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Like many cancers, colorectal cancer can be prevented with early screening.

Local health officials say both men and women with a normal risk of colorectal cancer should talk to their doctor about having a colonoscopy when they turn 50 years old. Those with a family history should talk to their doctor about having a colonoscopy ten years before the age a relative had a colorectal cancer diagnosis.

"Screening is key for colorectal cancer. Once you turn 50 talk to your doctor. Have the test done because prevention is possible," said Carrie Horton of the Broome County Health Department.

According to the American Cancer Society, rates of colorectal cancer diagnosis for those 50 and older have dropped 30 percent in the last 10 years. March is colorectal cancer awareness month.

The fight against colorectal cancer takes on special significance tonight. Sam Simon the co-creator of the Fox T.V. show "The Simpsons" lost his battle with the disease Sunday at age 59.
He co-created "The Simpsons" along with Matt Groening and others. Simon was a philanthropist who made millions after leaving the show in 1993 and donated much of his fortune to charity.