Colorectal cancer is increasing sharply for people under 50-years old, though Door and Kewaunee Counties have not yet seen that trend locally. It's still a cause for concern especially since there are preventive steps. Dr. Shawn Melarvie, General Surgeon at Door County Medical Center, says the largest contributing factor is obesity among those in their 20's and 30's.
Dr. Melarvie says statistics show the incidence of obesity among the young in 1961 was at 14%. That's now up to 40%. Dr. Melarvie says the most effective way to detect colorectal cancer is with an optical colonoscopy, which can detect and remove potential precancerous growths. Though your doctor might also recommend less intrusive and more economical testing methods.
Dr. Melvarie says the lower incidences of colorectal cancer in Door and Kewaunee Counties is likely due to older populations. Colonoscopy tests are done more frequently, which leads to earlier detection and treatment.