Did You Know Colon Cancer Has Increased In Young Adults?

Did you know the age recommended for Colonoscopy has changed from 65 to 45? This change came after seeing younger people getting Colon Cancer more often. According to Cancer.gov, Since the 1990s, the rate of colorectal cancer (which includes cancers of the colon and rectum) has been rising steadily among adults younger than 50. Not only that, but more younger people are dying from the disease.

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Some groups have been hit by the rising trend more than others. For instance, although people of all races can develop colorectal cancer at a young age, the spike has mostly been seen among Alaska Native, American Indian, and White peopleExit Disclaimer. However, Black people are still more likely to get colorectal cancer at a young age than White people, even though the gap is shrinking, said Nathan Ellis, Ph.D., of the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

Likewise, several studies have found that being overweight or obese may raise someone’s chance of getting early-onset colorectal cancer. Using data from electronic health records, Nathan Berger, M.D., of Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, found that half of younger adults with colorectal cancer were overweight and 17% were obese.

Unhealthy diets have become more common in past decades, the researchers pointed out. And the number of children and adults who are overweight or obese continues to climb. Unhealthy diets and gut bacteria are connected in another way, too. Both can lead to inflammation—the body’s reaction to injury, disease, or irritation. In one study of mice, a high-fat diet triggered gut inflammation and accelerated the growth of tumors in the intestines.

In addition, certain chronic diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and diabetes, can cause inflammation in the gut. Half of younger adults with colorectal cancer also have a chronic condition that can cause inflammation in the gut.

Both young people and doctors need to shed the notion that colorectal cancer is an “old person’s disease,” several meeting participants stressed. People should get used to looking at their stool and noticing changes, they noted.

Due to poor health and frankly laziness, I didn’t get a colonoscopy for 12 years. I was very nervous last year when I had one but not one polyp was found, so I can go ten years before my next one. He did not do an Upper GI at the time. So Monday I had an Upper GI and I’m waiting for the results. I know there might be some bad news in there because of my pain. Probably an ulcer. We’ll see.

Don’t follow my example, get your Colosocopy every year. If your results are good you may not have to have another one for 10 years.



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