SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – LSU Health Shreveport reminds us of the importance of screenings to wrap up March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

They are making sure the focus on colorectal screenings continues beyond this month.

“The best test is the test that gets done,” said Dr. Siva Gandu, LSU Health Shreveport resident.

Experts from LSU Health Shreveport are using their initiative “Cutting Out Colorectal Cancer” to stress the importance of getting tested.

In the United States, more people die of colorectal cancer than any other cancer, besides lung cancer. Louisiana has one of the highest rates in the country.

“One in twenty-three men and one in twenty-five women have risk of having colorectal cancer,” said Dr. Nazar Hafiz, LSU Health Shreveport gastroenterologist.

Medical professionals are going out into the community to help spread awareness and encourage people to start getting screened at the age of 45.

“One of the things that we’ve been currently doing is by going to barber shops, salons, and basically explaining to them about the risk factors, the screening processes, and how we can actually help mitigate this cancer in our community,” said David Okuampa, LSU Health Shreveport student.

Doctors say many people think it won’t happen to them or that they’re too young to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Screening for the cancer is free with Medicare and Medicaid.

“And it’s our responsibility as to try to erase these misconceptions,” Gandu said.