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What You Need to Know Concerning Colorectal Cancer in Young People

Colorectal cancer is no longer a disease for the old: its prevalence among young people is on the rise. The rate is on the decrease for people older than 50, but on the increase for young people (under 50 years).

According to a JAMA Surgery study, the results predict that the rate of colon cancer will go up by 90% in people between 20 and 34 years by 2030. For young people between 35 and 43 years, the rate will increase by 28%. Studies by the National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society revealed the same predications.

Researchers are working on ways to establish the cause of the change in trends. Some of the probable causes include microbiome, lifestyle changes, obesity, or new environment exposures (compounds and chemicals we encounter daily).

Signs and Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

The tumor size and location determine the symptoms and signs. However, some people have zero signs or symptoms when the disease is in its initial stages.

The symptoms are the same for patients of all ages. In young patients, the disease starts in the rectum or near the end of the colon. Patients experience thin stool, bleeding, and constipation. 

The following signs exhibit even when one has a non-cancerous condition, but watch out if they persist.

  • Blood in the stool(very dark or bright red)
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Narrower stool than usual
  • Vomiting
  • Change in bowel trends
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Frequent cramps, gas pains, fullness, and bloating
  • Constipation

Although the CDC recommends adults aged 50 to 75 to plan for a regular colonoscopy, some organizations are now advocating screening at a younger age due to the disease’s changing trends.

If you want to reduce your risk for colorectal cancer, eat a healthy diet consisting of fruit, whole grains, and vegetables. Also, exercise regularly and limit your consumption of processed meat, alcohol, and animal fat intake.

There is ongoing work to establish the cause of colorectal cancer in young people and how to treat it. Some of the ongoing work includes:

  • The Living Biobank
  • Laboratory models cancer
  • Microbiome research
  • The GI TARGET Program
  • Screening and Early detection research

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