A new study revealed that more men and women under 50 are diagnosed with colon cancer. When people are 50, the doctors recommend them to do some screenings.
The research showed that 1 in 7 people diagnosed with colon cancer is under 50. When the younger people are diagnosed with this type of cancer, they are in a more advanced stage of the disease, but unlike their older counterparts, they can live longer without the cancer recurring, as their treatment is done more aggressively. Data from 260,000 people that have been diagnosed with colon cancer has been collected for the study.
For a very long period of the time, colon cancer has been believed to be a disease of which only the elders should be afraid, according to Dr. Samantha Hendren, who was the lead author of the study. She also said that the findings of this research should be treated as a wake-up call by the medical community. She said that more research should be done before the screening age should be changed.
When the disease was found in the younger patients, the cancer was already spread to the lymph nodes or other organs. The author of the study said that these people are being diagnosed in more advanced stages than the elders because they only go the doctor when the cancer starts to show its symptoms, and that happens only in the more advanced stages. Symptoms of the colon cancer include bowel bleeding, anemia and colon blockage. Even though bowel bleeding is a symptom of the colon cancer, it can be caused by fissures or hemorrhoids as well. The difference between them is that when the bowel bleeding is mixed with stool it means that colon cancer might have caused that, but when the bowel only bleeds it can be caused by other things.
The researchers advise the people who have family members that have suffered from colon cancer to start the screenings earlier than when they are 50 years old. According to Dr. Andrew Chan from the Harvard Medical School, the mysterious reason behind the increased cases of colon cancer among younger people is unknown. He said that the changes of the environment could have been contributing to these numbers. Chan also enumerated some of the factors that contribute to colon cancer and these are obesity, poor diets, smoking and physical inactivity.
The study which showed that more men and women under 50 are diagnosed with colon cancer was published in the Cancer journal, on January 25.
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