Did you know, the rates for colon cancer have been declining among adults 50-plus, but rising in adults UNDER 50? Unfortunately, young-onset patients are more likely to be diagnosed in stage III or IV, when the disease is harder to treat. Missed symptoms and misdiagnosis can often delay the correct diagnosis in young-onset cases.
What can you do?
Be an advocate for your own health. Early stage colon cancer may show no signs or symptoms. Listen to your body and talk to your doctor if you know something is not right. Seek a second opinion if needed.
Know your family history. Twenty-five percent of all colorectal patients have a family history of the disease and/or a genetic condition that makes some people more likely to develop polyps, colon cancer, and possibly other cancer.
Reduce your risk. There are steps you can take to minimize your risk for colon cancer. Maintain a healthy body weight, get regular physical activity, limit your intake of red and processed meats, and don’t smoke.
New York Times Early Onset Colorectal Cancer Series
All articles by Roni Caryn Rabin
- “Colon and Rectal Cancer on the Rise in Young People,” Feb. 28, 2017
- “What Young People Need to Know About Colon Cancer,” March 16, 2017
- “More Young People are Dying of Colon Cancer,” Aug. 22, 2017
Young adult onset colorectal cancer study reports
- Colorectal Cancer Rates Have Risen Dramatically in Gen X and Millennials
- Colorectal Cancer Death Rates Rising in People Under 55