The Rise of Colon and Rectal Cancers in Young

rise of colon cancer
Source - nytimes

There is a worrying new trend among the victims of cancer, one of the most deadly illnesses on the face of the plant. Recently, scientific research showed that instances of cancer of the rectum and colon began declining in the older population over the past decades, but has also been on a rise when it comes to the people in their 20s and 30s getting these diseases, which were previously considered very rare. Currently, over 90% of all colorectal cancers still affect people who are above the age of 50.

But, the recent study showcased by the American Cancer Society follows a trail of data that indicates that these types of cancers have been on the uptake for every generation that was born after 1950. Even more worryingly, experts in the medical field do not have an answer why this trend is persisting. But, there is no doubt that the data is correct and that the trend of instances of colon and rectal cancers rising in young people is a real phenomenon. Today, compared to an average individual of the same age in 1950’s, a person in their middle 20’s has twice the chance of getting colon cancer and four times higher chance of getting rectal cancer. This means that the risk of colon cancer now for those born in 1990 is 4 per 1 million, while for those born in 1950 the same risk way 0.9 per million.

An additional problem plaguing those who are at risk is the fact that medical professionals rarely consider this diagnosis early on and instead explore other potential causes for the symptoms, like internal hemorrhoids. However, when the actual cancer diagnosis is attained, cancer might be in an advanced phase when it is less treatable. The oddness of the situation is underlined by the fact that otherwise colorectal cancer rates dropped over the recent years in the general population because of tests and screenings like colonoscopies. However, the problem is that these tests have not been employed for the younger population because of their invasiveness.

Now, doctors are hoping that some other form of screening will be developed that would aid them in setting the right diagnosis for their younger patients. When it comes to causes for these types of cancers, lifestyle choices like smoking and diet are considered an important precursor. Diets that include a lot of fruit, vegetables, and fiber are considered less problematic for the formation of cancer than those which include a lot of processed or red meat, for example. Other conditions, like obesity, heavy use of alcohol and sedentary lifestyles have also shown a correlation between them and these types of cancer. When other diseases are considered, rectal and colon cancers are often tied with Type 2 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease, both of which are on the rise as well. A final problem that arrived from these illnesses is that their early onset comes with a vague set of symptoms. These can include digestive complaints that generally occur, like cramping, constipation, diarrhea or pain in the abdomen.

While any of these can be attributed to other causes, it is important that anyone who is experiencing them on a regular basis goes for a detailed medical check-up that can determine the cause of these problems. For some people, this check-up can save their life from rectal or colon cancer, including many young individuals.


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