Colorectal Cancer (CRC) is a form of cancer that is preventable and curable in most cases, so the recent data showing an increase in CRC in young adults have caused concern. CRC can be now be prevented in most people by following some simple guidelines:
- Eat a proper diet (include a colorful selection of fruits, greens and vegetables daily)
- Obtain regular colon screening. Colon screening for CRC usually begins at the age of 50
- Live a healthy lifestyle
- Maintain regular exercise.
It is not yet conclusive what is directly causing the increase of colorectal cancer (CRC) in young adults under the age of 50. Possible causes for the increase in occurrence of CRC in this age group include:
- Lack of awareness of CRC in patients
- Lifestyle habits that are associated with cancer like fast foods and cigarette smoking
- The rise in obesity in the under-50 age group. Obesity increases the risk of developing cancer
Here are some tips to help you identify the signs of CRC and stack the odds in your favor:
- Early detection is your most valuable tool. Know the signs of CRC and see you doctor immediately if:
- You notice changes in bowel movements that last more than a week e.g. constipation or diarrhea
- You notice Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
- You have persistent Abdominal pain or cramping
- You have unexpected weight loss and/ or fatigue that doesn’t go away
- As soon as you have a concern, that is the best time to seek immediate medical advice.
- Screening for CRC is an out-patient prodecure called a colonoscopy. Your doctor can help you determine if you need a colonoscopy.
- Colorectal cancer often runs in families. Start a conversation with your loved ones asking your family members about CRC and take the time to educate them about it. It is important for you to know about the medical problems that run in your family.
- If CRC runs in your family, ask your doctor whether you can be screened early to stay ahead of this cancer.
The American Cancer Society has additional information about Colorectal Cancer: