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While the majority of people who develop colorectal cancer are older, research suggests that incidence has been increasing in people younger than 55 since at least the mid-1990s. A recent study shows that colorectal cancer death rates have been climbing in people 20 to 54 years of age.
But experts say that there are things you can do to reduce your risk even if you don’t have a family history of colorectal cancer–including not ignoring potential warning signs or symptoms, like rectal bleeding,
abnormal abdominal cramping pain, or a change in stool consistency (if it becomes a lot more fragmented, hard to pass or thin) and suggest patients report these symptoms to their doctors.
The American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) recommends colorectal cancer screening begin at age 50 (45 for African Americans) and earlier for people at increased risk based on their family history. For example, a person who has a first-degree relative – a parent or sibling – who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, should start getting screened at an age 10 years younger than the earliest diagnosis of an immediate family member, or at age 40, whichever comes first. So if your mother got colon cancer at 40, you should start getting screened at 30.
Along with screening and paying attention to possible signs or symptoms, experts recommend making lifestyle changes to lower risk such exercising, losing excess weight, and not eating a lot of processed red meat – like ham and hot dogs – which has been linked to a higher risk of developing colon cancer.
Source: US News & World Report Read More
Colorectal Cancer Screening: Recommendations for Physicians and Patients from the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer