Is Utah Better Than Average in Colon Cancer Prevention?

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Granite Peaks Gastroenterology working to bring awareness to the importance of colorectal cancer screenings.

March is recognized as National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Granite Peaks Gastroenterology works with both the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) to bring awareness to the importance of timely colorectal cancer screenings. Until recent years, the accepted age to begin colorectal cancer screenings was age 50, but the ACS suggests screenings begin at age 45 due to the increase in cancer diagnoses among younger people. Some insurance providers will cover screenings for patients age 45, or younger, if they have a family history of colon cancer or polyps, but not all.

The American Cancer Society notes the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is 4.4% for men, 4.1% for women. Their research shows Utah is estimated to see 840 new cases and 300 deaths from colorectal cancer in 2020. Utah ranks 29th in the United States for colorectal cancer screening (at age 50, the age suggested for screening as of these reports) with 69% of the applicable population having the test, while the nation averages 70% overall. Utah is close, but not quite above average in screenings. Granite Peaks GI is working with the NCCRT to push this number to 80% in Utah.

“In its early stages, colorectal cancer has no symptoms so people may misunderstand their risk of developing the disease,” said Dr. Andrew Heiner, a board-certified gastroenterologist at Granite Peaks Gastroenterology. “During a screening colonoscopy, if polyps are found, they can be removed during the procedure to prevent their growth into cancer. A colonoscopy is the only way to combine screening and polyp removal in one test.”

“Colon cancer is preventable. A screening colonoscopy is painless, modest and safe,” said Dr. Christopher Cutler, a board-certified gastroenterologist at Granite Peaks Gastroenterology. “This simple test could save your life and provide important health information for your family.”

We suggest individuals check with their insurance plan before any medical procedure. We will continue our work encouraging every adult in Utah to get appropriately screened for this preventable, deadly disease. We hope to make Utah the top state for colorectal cancer screening. It’s easy and it could save your life!

To schedule an interview with one of our board-certified gastroenterologists, please contact us using the press contact information above.

Granite Peaks Gastroenterology specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive system. Granite Peaks GI’s board-certified physicians provide consultations at two locations, in Sandy and Lehi, Utah. They perform endoscopic procedures, including colonoscopy and upper GI endoscopy. For more information about Granite Peaks Gastroenterology or the digestive conditions its physicians treat, please call (801) 619-9000 or visit

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Kathy Mears

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