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The Sentinel Sound

The Sentinel Sound

Colon Cancer Rising Among Young People

Rates of colon cancer are rising among young adults. Traditionally viewed as a disease affecting older individuals, colon cancer’s increasing diagnosis among the younger population has sparked alarm and prompted a closer examination of its underlying causes, risk factors, and potential preventive measures.

Rates of colon cancer are rising among young adults. Traditionally viewed as a disease affecting older individuals, colon cancer’s increasing diagnosis among the younger population has sparked alarm and prompted a closer examination of its underlying causes, risk factors, and potential preventive measures.

Diagnosis of people under 55 years old increased from 11% in 1995 to 20% in or 1 in 5 people diagnosed with colon cancer. From the mid-2000s to 2019, the amount of people diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer has increased by 8%.
Several factors may contribute to the rising incidence of colon cancer among young adults. One significant factor is shifting dietary patterns and lifestyle choices. Diets high in processed foods, red meats, and low in fiber have been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. The prevalence of such diets, coupled with sedentary lifestyles and obesity, may play a role in the development of this disease among younger individuals. Changes in environmental factors and exposures to carcinogens may also contribute to the rise in colon cancer cases. While hereditary forms of colon cancer are rare, individuals with a family history of the disease are at an elevated risk.

One of the challenges associated with the rising incidence of colon cancer among young adults is lack of awareness and early detection. Symptoms of colon cancer, such as rectal bleeding, changes in bowel habits, and abdominal pain, are often attributed to less severe conditions in younger individuals, leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment. Screening guidelines usually recommend colonoscopies starting at age 55, leaving younger adults without routine screening measures unless they exhibit concerning symptoms or have a significant family history.

Young adults with certain risk factors, such as a family history of colon cancer or genetic predispositions, should be encouraged to get screening. This may improve early detection and treatment outcomes. Research into novel screening methods, such as non-invasive tests or biomarker-based assessments, could also enhance early detection rates among young adults.

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Tori Bryant
Tori Bryant, Staff Reporter
Enjoyer of doom metal and classic literature. I enjoy writing about health science and psychology.
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