March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month.
Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
Colon cancer is preventable and treatable.
The latest news from around North Texas.
It can be prevented by finding and removing polyps before they become cancerous and is highly treatable if found in its early stages.
Carrie Robinson, 67, felt great even as a cancerous polyp developed in her colon.
"I was telling everybody 'girl I'm healthy' cause I felt healthy. I was eating right and doing all the right things and exercising and stuff," said Robinson.
She has a history of polyps, but wasn't scheduled for another colonoscopy for several years.
Then, insurance coverage changes forced her to switch doctors and she began seeing Dr. Paul Hackett with Methodist Charlton Medical Center and Trinity Colon and Rectal in Duncanville.
As a precaution, Robinson decided to undergo another colonoscopy.
It revealed stage two colon cancer.
"It could have been a silent killer for me had I not been put under the right care and proceeded the way we did, so I just feel blessed," said Robinson.
"You don't want to wait until you have symptoms. If you have increased risk factors like a family history, you want to talk to your primary care physician," said Dr. Hackett.
Doctors say you should begin screening at age 50, and before age 50 if there is a strong family history of risk factors.