Is Colon Cancer an Old Man's Disease?

Author Name
Answered by: Darcy, An Expert in the Who Can Get Colon Cancer? Category
"Colon cancer? That's an old man's disease." We tend to hear this pretty often, but how true is it? Research now shows that colon cancer is on the rise among millenial patients. With proper screening, colon cancer is preventable and curable. However, as colon cancer is typically associated with the 50+ crowd, many young people do not proceed with these screenings. Unfortunately, doctors are finding that when young people are diagnosed, the cancer tends to have already advanced to a later stage, making the prognosis much more difficult. When colon cancer is metastatic, or has spread to other organs, the survival rate drops to 1 in 10. That means that only one in ten patients diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer will live five years past their original diagnosis. Research has yet to determine a cause for the rise in colon cancer diagnoses rates in young people, but genetic and environmental factors have certainly entered into the conversation. Individuals over 50 should be screened for colon cancer. These screenings, known as colonoscopies, are unique in that they are both preventative and diagnostic. During a colonoscopy, the doctor can locate and remove polyps, precancerous growths on the lining of the colon. If not removed, these polyps will grow into cancer. Young people should not be afraid to ask for these tests as well. Anyone with symptoms or a family history of colon cancer should consult with their doctor. In the past, doctors might have looked for other explanations for symptoms in young people, but now research shows that colon cancer is not an old man's disease. Colon cancer is often with few symptoms if any at all, but some notable symptoms might include change in bowel habits, pain, lethargy, and changes in appetite. As the Colon Cancer Alliance has playfully quipped, you cannot sit on your symptoms! While screening starts at fifty, young people should not be afraid to ask their doctor about symptoms. The Colon Cancer Alliance aims to educate the masses about colon cancer prevention. At the moment, colon cancer is the second most lethal form of cancer, yet it tends to be pushed aside. Growing up, most of us were taught that bathroom issues were taboo, so people have some difficulty discussing colon cancer, as it falls into this category. With events such as the Undy Run, the Colon Cancer Alliance hopes to remove the stigma and generate a lively conversation about colon cancer prevention and research. Running a 5k in polka dot boxer shorts or running through a giant inflatable colon tends to spark some conversation about colon cancer. The Colon Cancer Alliance has also founded the Never 2 Young panel, a group of young patients and caregivers who address the current rise in colon cancer diagnoses among young people. They focus on marketing and grassroots initiatives, while offering nutrition and treatment support for current patients. As the Colon Cancer Alliance would say, you simply can't sit on your symptoms. Be an advocate for your own health today and listen to your body!

Author Name Like My Writing? Hire Me to Write For You!

Related Questions