Watch CBSN Live

Got colon cancer questions? Watch Dr. LaPook's Google+ Hangout

March marks Colon Cancer Awareness month, a national campaign to get adults thinking about the dangerous disease that commonly strikes after the age of 50.

The good news is that screening tests could save your life, according to experts.

Each year, about 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer, and more than 50,000 people will die from it. It is the leading killer of non-smokers in the country.

Recent research has found 40 percent of all colon cancers can be prevented if people underwent regular colonoscopies aimed to detect precancerous polyps or catch cancer early when it's still treatable.

So why aren't they?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in November that one in three adults over the age of 50 skip recommended colon cancer screening, potentially putting 23 million at risk.

CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook, a professor of medicine in the department of gastroenterology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, is here to help answer any questions you have on colorectal cancer and how to prevent it.

He hosted a Google+ Hangout with Dr. Mark Pochapin, a professor of gastroenterology at NYU, and Gina Mileo, a registered nurse at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Some people don't know the facts about colorectal cancer screening, and may think they don't need to get tested if they aren't experiencing symptoms or don't have a family history. But that's the point of screening -- to find polyps before symptoms occur and it's too late.

And there are more options than just a colonoscopy for screening that you should know about.

Watch the Google+ Hangout below to learn more about colon cancer, and how to stay protected.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.