Colorectal cancer is until now the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Recently, the rates of new colon cancer diagnosis for people who are over 50 years has decreased. This development can be attributed to improved rates of screening. However, since testing is not recommended for individuals who are below 50 years, the rates are increasing considerably.
Research by the University of Texas shows that based on the current trends, by 2030, incidence rates among people at 20-34 years might increase by 90%. For people between 35-49 years, incident rates are expected to increase by 27.7%. Despite the alarming rates, something can be done.
How young people can prevent colon cancer prevalence
Eat and stay healthy
Take sufficient amounts of healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables. Also, one should avoid unhealthy diets such as soda, sugary drinks, snacks and excess sugar. Avoid red meat such as beef and processed meat such as hotdog. Physical activity helps prevent colon cancer as well as minimizing colon cancer symptoms.
Find out family history
Find out if anybody in your family line had colon cancer and the age of diagnosis. Those who have had a family history of colon problems are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with colon cancer. Some of the colon problems include pre-cancerous polyps and ulcerative colitis. In case you have any of these issues, or there is a history of colon cancer in your line, talk to your physician about when to start screening.
Take all symptoms seriously
There is nothing like natural rectal bleeding. In case you realize a change in the size of your stool, change in bowel habits, blood discharge, or any other colon cancer symptoms, you need to be examined by a doctor. It is not necessary a must that it is cancer, but get checked just in case.
When to go for screening
Screening for colon cancer means having tests even when one does not show colon cancer symptoms. Some tests such as colonoscopies show growths such as polyps and get rid of them even before they turn into cancer. Other tests find cancer early when it is easier to treat. The benefits of screening test should be weighed according to the risks of having the tests. The American Cancer Society advises colon cancer screening to begin at age 50 and above. However, now that people are being diagnosed with colon cancer at an early age, screening should also start sooner.