Getting a colonoscopy, catching colon cancer early is key to surviving disease

Guidelines recommend getting a colonoscopy at 45 years old.

That recommendation used to be 50. Deborah Yarber missed her screening at 50 because she didn't have the insurance to cover it. However, at 60, she wasn't feeling well and knew something was wrong.

More: Answers to colonoscopy questions

"Severe abdominal pain just out of the blue," she said. "At the colonoscopy they told me I had colon cancer, and it was almost a complete blockage."

She met with Dr. Shawn Web at Henry Ford Hospital. Two weeks later, she underwent surgery, and the cancer is now gone.

"She ended up having a good outcome because she sought medical care early," Webb said.

Cologuard tests and stool tests can also help detect a problem. Webb said there are signs of colon cancer to look out for.

"Change in bowel habits, obstruction, bleeding, pain – these are usually signs of more advanced cancer," he said.

After a diagnosis, a treatment plan is created.

The plan of treatment is often determined by a tumor board

"The benefit of a collaborative tumor board is that all the heads are together pathologist oncologist radiologist," Webb said.

Yarber hopes her story encourages others to get their colonoscopy.

"I feel just as healthy as I was before that," she said. "It was so easy. I look at it like a detox."