As we continue through Colon Cancer Awareness month, our goal is to increase the conversations people have about the disease. Knowing that screenings are by far the most effective way to detect colon cancer early can even work to prevent it altogether.
An unfortunate trend in the fight against colon cancer is a spike in the amount of young people diagnosed. Formerly considered a disease reserved for older men, this new uptick in folks under 40 is disturbing but also mostly unexplained.
“People born in 1990 have twice the risk of colon cancer and four times the risk of rectal cancer as people born in 1950 faced at the same age,” says CBS New York.
For people of an average risk, the standard age to begin screening for colon cancer is 50. The only problem with that guideline is that younger folks are getting missed, often until it’s too late.
While the medical community struggles to pinpoint the cause of the surge, many speculate that changes in lifestyle and diet are to blame.
“Prime suspects include obesity, inactivity and poor diets,” said researchers from the American Cancer Society.
In other words, the behaviors we know are bad for us, and cause health issues across the board, are the likely culprit in the uptick in colon cancer.
While the statistics are alarming, the overall rates of colon cancer in younger people is still low. But that doesn’t mean there’s no lesson in this – be your own health advocate. Listen to your body and work with your doctor to pinpoint when something is wrong.