For years, doctors have been advising patients to pay close attention to their bodies and GI health. Advice has been to keep tabs on your digestive habits, make note of any changes, and make sure to visit your doctor if you are experiencing pain, discomfort, or any drastic differences in your health. Traditional advice on colonoscopies, the number one screening tool in the fight against colon cancer, has been that people should begin having the screening at age 50. This advice may lead people to believe that colon cancer is only a concern for patients older than 50, which is why the results of a recent colon cancer study may seem shocking.
Deaths In Younger Patients Are On The Rise
The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study recently that indicates the rate of deaths from colon cancer in white men and women are on the rise since at least 1990. The study showed that rates of colorectal cancer deaths were up by about 1.4% per year amongst young white people, and it actually showed a decrease in cancer incidences amongst those of other races and ethnicities.
What Does This Rise Mean For Me?
A 1.4% rise in colorectal cancer rates might not seem that alarming, but it is something people need to pay attention to, since death rates were declining in previous years. The most important thing to focus on and take from this information is that younger men and women are not immune to this disease that is typically assumed to be one that only affects older people. Although recommendations for preventative screening haven’t changed, doctors still stress that it’s important to pay attention to your body and note any changes. The most notable symptoms of colon cancer include bleeding from the rectum, blood in your stool, a noticeable change in bowel habits, unexplained weight loss, and pain and cramping in the stomach. It’s also important to know your family history. If someone in your family has had colon cancer, screenings may need to begin before you turn 50! If you observe any of these things, please contact Dr. Sameer Islam today for a screening appointment so we can discuss your options and learn more about your risk for the disease.