Colorectal cancers are the leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women, largely in the over 50 age group, which is why most doctors recommend colonoscopies for everyone once they reach that age. Unfortunately, there is a rise in colorectal cancer rates among younger men and women. In a recent study released by the American Cancer Society, new facts indicate that colorectal cancer rates are on the rise in younger age groups.
What Is Colorectal Cancer And How Is It Diagnosed?
Colorectal cancer often begins as a growth, called a polyp, in the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Unfortunately, there is no way to fully prevent cancer, although there are some risk factors that may put you at a higher risk of the disease. Family history of the disease may put you at a higher risk, so it is important to discuss this with your doctor. In addition, sedentary lifestyles, being overweight, diets heavy in red or processed meat, smoking, the presence of other illnesses like irritable bowel disease or Type 2 Diabetes will place you in the higher risk group. Colorectal cancer is most often diagnosed through a colonoscopy, which is the most beneficial test available in the prevention and detection of colorectal cancer. It’s important to visit your doctor if you start seeing alarming changes in your bowel health including rectal bleeding, blood in the stool, cramping and abdominal pain, weakness and fatigue, unintended weight loss and the feeling of needing to make a bowel movement that isn’t relieved by doing so.
What Is This New Study Showing?
The recent study released by the American Cancer Society indicates a rise in colorectal cancers amongst the under 50 crowd. Although the numbers may not seem high, the increase has been slow and steady since 1950. The rate of colon cancer increase is 1-2% in ages 20-39 and .5-1% in ages 40-54, and rectal cancer rates are climbing even higher at a rate of 3% in ages 20-39 and 2% in ages 40-54. This could lead to an estimated 13,500 new cases in patients under 50 this year. What this information means is that men and women of all ages need to be hyper-vigilant about their GI health and symptoms, regardless of their age. If you have a concerning family history or symptoms that are worrying you, call Dr. Sameer Islam today to make an appointment to discuss screening and treatment options that will fit your individual case.