If you catch it early enough, colon cancer has a five-year survival rate of 90 percent. That's pretty high for any type of cancer. The catch of course is catching it early. Many people who have the highest risk (people ages 50+) put off getting a colonoscopy, and some experts have suggested that half of all colon cancer deaths could have been prevented if only people had done some sort of routine screening.
Luckily, Luke Perry did--at age 49. The Beverly Hills 90210 actor thought the test was going to be routine, but the colonoscopy showed that he had tumors growing--the first sign of colon cancer. He had them removed, but didn't forget his brush with cancer.
So now he's urging people to get screened. As he told Fox News, "'Right now, there are 23 million Americans who haven't been screened who need to be screened. If I had waited, it could have been a whole different scenario."
As Perry pointed out, he couldn't figure out why colon cancer was the most detectable of cancers, yet one of the deadliest. "So I wanted to get out there and tell people about it."
He's partnering with an organization called Fight Colorectal Cancer to make sure 100 percent of people eligible for colon cancer screening get tested.