We all know that we live in an unpredictable world, and unpredictable things happen. However, when most people think of someone getting a colon or rectal cancer diagnosis, they assume they are a bit older (usually in their 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s).
Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. In fact, more and more young people are now being diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer, and it has doctors and scientists a bit baffled.
According to Dr. Thomas Weber, a professor of surgery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center who has served on the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, “There is no mistaking these dramatic increases, especially for rectal cancers.”
Here’s a link to the article from The New York Times along with more facts and figures:
The bottom line is this…while colon and rectal cancer has been declining in older adults over the past few decades (thanks to public awareness and an early screening process), there is a very unsettling trend that shows more young adults are being diagnosed with this serious, life-threatening condition. In fact, it’s estimated that 13,500 people under the age of 50 will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year.
Why are colorectal cancers on the rise in young people?
There are many theories, but few concrete facts.
More sedentary lifestyles combined with obesity, Type 2 diabetes, or HPV have been linked to an increased risk of cancers, as well as eating a diet consisting of too many processed foods and red meat.
In order to decrease your risk of colorectal cancer, you should focus on eating a diet with more fruits, vegetables, and fiber content. Also, by quitting smoking and moderating your alcohol intake, you may be able to reduce your risk of cancer.
When should you get checked? What are the symptoms?
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should see Dr. Rieders, Dr. Reddy and Dr. Brandon Rieders at GastroCare LI in Valley Stream or Glendale:
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Severe or ongoing constipation
- Difficulty with bowel movements
- Blood in the stool
- Excessive amounts of gas
And any related symptoms.
Essentially, if you experience anything out of the ordinary regarding stomach pains, eating habits, or changes in your stool or other bodily functions, it’s a good idea to visit a gastroenterologist, just to be safe.
Need to schedule your screening or appointment? Give us a call.
While it’s recommended that everyone receive a colorectal cancer screening at age 50 and beyond, it’s never too early if you’re experiencing any symptoms.
Getting screened for colorectal cancer is a relatively straightforward process with minimal pain and discomfort involved. If you’re between the ages of 18-49, you shouldn’t wait until you’re 50 to get a colonoscopy if you feel something may be wrong.
Go ahead and contact our location nearest you to schedule your appointment with Dr. Rieders or Dr. Reddy today.