colon cancer increasing in younger patients
hello and welcome to the gutlove blog! for my first blogpost I wanted to raise awareness about something we've been seeing in the clinic and hospital and that is both surprising and heartbreaking. there has been an increasing trend of young people getting diagnosed with colorectal cancer. this is alarming because the age to start colon cancer screening is 50 and therefore younger people don't usually get a colonoscopy and the opportunity to have any precancerous polyps removed.
Based on trends seen in the national cancer database (SEER) registry, physicians predict that by 2030 the incidence rates among people ages 20 – 34 will increase by 90% for colon and 124.2% for rectal cancer. Among people 35 – 49, the incidence rates may increase by 27.7% for colon and 46% for rectal cancer.
What is causing this alarming increase in young people with colorectal cancer? Here is some insight into the potential underlying causes:
- 1/3 of the cases can be attributed either to a genetic condition or family history of the disease
- For the remaining two-thirds, possibly lack of exercise, diet including fast food and processed food, increasing obesity rate, and hormones and antibiotics on livestock/meat/animal products that may reduce the function of protective gut bacteria
So make sure you know your family history and not only colorectal cancer history but other types of cancer as well and discuss your risk with a gastroenterologist! And move, eat real food, limit animal products, and maintain a healthy weight! Take a look at some of the eating, moving, and weight loss tips on my website!