GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Medial experts now recommend people get tested for colorectal cancer at a younger age.

Dr. Antonia Henry, a surgeon with University of Michigan Health West, spoke with News 8 during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month about getting screened.

“It’s incredibly important. Although most colorectal cancers are diagnosed over age 65, given the uptick in patients under 50, it’s very important that we all speak to our healthcare providers about getting screened at age 45,” Henry said.

She said it is not yet known why rates are going up for younger patients, but things like an increase in obesity, drinking and smoking, could be factors.

She said she’s started seeing more patients in their 30s or early 40s get diagnosed with advanced stage colorectal cancer.

Part of the reason why it’s so important to get screened is there aren’t many early warning signs. However, some things to look for are blood in the stool, change in bowel habits, anemia, fatigue or weight loss, Henry said.

Henry said preventative measures include maintaining a healthy weight, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. She also said you should minimize red meat, alcohol and smoking.

For the full conversation with Dr. Antonia Henry, watch the video in the player above.