According to the American Cancer Society, a recent study found rates for colon and rectal cancer have been increasing for every generation born since 1950. Approximately 11% of adults under 50 have been diagnosed with colon cancer, which is alarming considering that most colonoscopies aren’t performed until age 50.
Due to these findings, younger adults should be particularly mindful of their bowel conditions. Early warning signs include blood in stool, rectal bleeding or stools that are very dark or black in color. Unknown weight loss or fatigue can also be a symptom of colon cancer.
What should I do if I believe I am experiencing colon cancer symptoms frequently?
- Eat healthy and exercise. As with many other GI issues, a healthy diet and exercise can reduce your chances of developing gut issues such as colon cancer.
- Be aware of your body and your symptoms. Don’t panic, but pay attention to your gut.
- Know your family history. Do you know if other family members were diagnosed with colorectal cancer?
- Be proactive. If you believe to have a serious issue with your health, ask your doctor to order a colonoscopy or other screening to be safe.
Each day, more adults under 50 are becoming diagnosed with colon cancer. The earlier you catch it, the better off you’ll be. It is never too early to get tested for colon cancer or talk to one of our GI doctors. Schedule an appointment with a GI doctor to learn more about colon cancer or screening tests.