Cancer is often assumed to be an older person’s disease; it can be
easy to forget that cancer can target
younger people, as well. Though the incidence of young people being diagnosed with cancer
is less commonplace than cancer in older populations, scientists and researchers
are seeing a dramatic rise in the incidence of colorectal cancer in younger patients.
The Study Demonstrating Age-Related Increases in Colorectal Cancer
study published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers
discuss that the incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) in patients in their
20s and 30s has increased substantially, even though the incidence of
colorectal cancer itself had been declining for decades in the United
States. Between 2003 and 2012, it was estimated that CRC was decreasing
at a pace of 3% annually. Between 1975 through 2000, the prevalence and
risk had been declining dramatically due to an increase in screening,
increased information about the cancer, and the decrease in risk factors
associated with CRC. Increased screening in the older generations has
contributed to the decrease in CRC in older patients who are 50 years
of age or older; younger people, however, are not recommended for screening.
The vast majority of colorectal cancers are still diagnosed in older patients,
with a rate of 90% of all diagnosed CRCs occurringin patients older than
50 years of age. The new study evaluates the presence of cancer depending
on birth year, and found that there was an uptick of CRC in patients born
after 1950, with a dramatic decline in patients born between 1890 and
1950. The American Cancer Society estimates that 13,500 cases of colon
and rectal cancers will be diagnosed annually in the 50 and younger crowd.
What is Colon Cancer and What are its Risk Factors?
occurrence of colon cancer starts with the growth of abnormal cells in the colon that spread throughout
the body. Symptoms include anemia and loss of red blood cells, abdominal
pain, rectal bleeding, and the narrowing/thinning of stool. Risk factors
associated with colon cancer are smoking, alcohol use, over-consumption
of red meat, diabetes, and obesity. There is also a genetic link for colon
cancer, with family history being an important indicator.
What Makes CRC More Dangerous Than Other Cancers
Colorectal cancer progresses quickly and can be lethal if not caught early
in its existence. CRC claims more than 50,000 deaths annually and is the
second and third leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women, respectively.
When caught early, at Stage 1, the five-year survival rate is estimated
at 92%. As the CRC advances, the rates of survival decrease drastically.
With a more advanced CRC, or Stage IV, the cancer has spread to other
organs and the rate of survival at five years is 11 %.
Push to Test Young Adults; CRC More Treatable at Stage I Than Stage IV
Because of the quick progression of CRC and with the alarming and dramatic
occurrence of CRC in young adults, there should be a trend to test more
and more young people with demonstrated symptoms rather than dsimissing
them just because of their age. Younger people presenting with symptoms
should be screened with a colonoscopy as soon as the symptoms seem to
be pointing to CRC, since a misdiagnosis or assuming the symptoms are
being exaggerated could lead to early death for a young adult with a lot
of life left to live.
Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You
If you or a loved one was misdiagnosed and your CRC was not diagnosed as
early as it should have been, it is important to consult with an experienced
personal injury attorney to discuss possible legal options for compensation.
Please call the
Law Office of Robert R. Castro at (301) 804-2312 for a confidential consultation.