Doctors recommend men get colonoscopy at younger age

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The American Cancer Society has changed the recommended time when men should get a colonoscopy. June is Men's Health Month and men across the Mid-South are being urged to pay more attention to their health earlier than ever before.

We all have busy lives so the thought of medical checkups is rarely top of mind.

"We're beginning to find colon cancer rates for younger people. People as young as in their 20s," said Dr. James Patterson, who has practicing medicine in Memphis and the Mid-South for 30 years.

He said last week The American Cancer Society changed recommended ages for men to have their first colonoscopy from age 50 down to 45 years old.

"Colon cancer rates in general are declining but for the younger people they are actually increasing," Patterson said.

Heart disease remains the number one killer of men in the U.S. Lung cancer is the most deadly cancer in men, followed by colon and prostate cancers.

Doctors recommend regular checkups every 3-to-5 years for men in their 20s and 30s and after 40, checkups every 1-to-2 years.

"Once you hit 40, your body starts taking count and keeps up with all the bad stuff you've been doing and then the bill becomes due," says Patterson. He also recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and if you're depressed, see your primary doctor.

There are new changes and new guidelines for men's health this June. It's in an effort to live a longer and healthier lives with our families.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.