March is considered National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, which makes it the perfect time to discuss the reasoning behind having prevention screenings. Colorectal cancer is becoming more widespread all across the United States. Men and women both are at risk for developing the disease.
The American Cancer Society states that even though nine out of 10 colon cancer cases happen in people who are age 50 and over, the rate of incidence and death in people who are younger than 50 has started to rise, most particularly with rectal cancer. The trouble is that individuals who are under the age of 50 do not usually think of colon cancer as being any type of possible risk to their health. The collective misunderstanding is that colorectal cancer happens to older people and is not a threat to individuals who are younger.
However, within the past decade, the frequency rate in people between the ages of 40 and 44 has gone up over 65 percent. While this age group has seen the biggest increase, all age ranges from 20 to 49 have had increases of 10 percent or more.
Health experts blame such a high rise on the lack of precautionary screening and treatment sought after by younger people. The message in which physicians are trying to send out is that individuals under the age of 50 are in fact at risk for developing colorectal cancer and need to consider having preventive screening in order to spot any possibly dangerous polyps that would be found on the lining of either the colon and/or the rectum.
It is also very important for a person to know his or her family history. Any primary risk factors, like having a personal history of polyps on the lining of the colon, any kind of inflammatory bowel disease or a family background of polyps or colorectal cancer, needs to be addressed as early as possible and used to decide if there is an increased need for initial screenings.
If a person does have a family background of colon cancer, the American Cancer Society states that it is probably best for that individual to start screenings at the age of 40, or about 10 years before the youngest cancer case in the person’s immediate family, whichever happened the earliest. It is also good to remember that having a screening is a fast, pain-free procedure.
The symptoms of colorectal cancer are basically the same no matter what the age. If a person starts to see any differences in bowel movements, starts having pain in the lower abdomen or sees blood in the stool, he or she needs to call their primary care physician right away.
It has become essential that education turn into a priority so to help increase the chance of early discovery of colorectal cancer. Younger people have to learn that they are also in danger and need to start regular screenings early. There is a direct association between primary treatment and reduced mortality for colorectal cancer.
Since the month of March is considered National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, that makes it the perfect time to talk about the need of having preventative screenings. Colorectal cancer is becoming more widespread all across the United States and both men and women are at risk for developing the disease.
By Kimberly Ruble