4 red flags and signs of colon cancer if you are under 50

Researchers have identified four symptoms that people under 50 are most likely to experience before being diagnosed with colon cancer.
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  • Researchers have identified 4 symptoms that people diagnosed with colon cancer under the age of 50 are most likely to experience.
  • Colon cancer rates are on the rise in young people, and scientists still don’t know why.
  • Helping young people spot the warning signs at an early stage is crucial to preventing death from the disease.

Young people diagnosed with colon cancer are more likely to experience four distinct symptoms, including rectal bleeding and diarrhea, according to a new study.

According to a study published on May 4 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis analyzed health insurance data from more than 5,000 patients diagnosed with cancer before age 50. They found that just one of these four symptoms almost doubled the risk of colon cancer.

Having two symptoms increased the risk of colon cancer by 3.5 times, and having three or four resulted in a 6.5 times increase.

The results could be key in helping young people identify warning signs. Colon cancer in young people is on the rise, as recent data from the American Cancer Society revealed that the proportion of colorectal cancer in people under the age of 55 doubled between 1995 and 2019, from 11% to 20 %.

Young people are usually not diagnosed until the cancer has rreached an advanced stage. A 2019 study found that of those diagnosed with colon cancer, more than half of those under 50 are diagnosed at stage three or four, compared to only 40% of those over 50 who are diagnosed. at these later stages.

Early detection of colon cancer is essential to prevent death: the five-year relative survival rate is around 90% if the cancer does not spread to other parts of the body. But colon cancer symptoms, such as fatigue and weight loss, can be mistaken for gastrointestinal problems, and many doctors don’t screen young people for colon cancer.

“To date, many early colorectal cancers are detected in emergency rooms, and there are often significant diagnostic delays with this cancer,” lead researcher Yin Cao said in a statement.

Don’t wait to get screened for colon cancer, doctors say

Scientists are still investigating why colon cancer rates are rising in young people, but they suspect lifestyle factors may be behind the trend.

Diets low in fiber and high in processed meats have been linked to an increased risk of disease, and some experts have speculated that the recent popularity of high-meat diets like keto and paleo are partly responsible for the increased cancer rates.

Obesity, which is also on the rise in young people, can increase the risk of colon cancer. Chronic illness can also increase the risk of heart disease, another disease that affects young people at higher rates than in the past.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone start getting screened for colon cancer at age 45, and people with a family history to tell their doctor about the disease as soon as possible.

“It’s very clear that signs and symptoms that could indicate colorectal cancer in people under 50, and especially rectal bleeding, should be evaluated promptly by a healthcare professional and not dismissed as ‘just hemorrhoids’ or ‘normal’,” said Dr. David Greenwald. , professor of medicine and gastroenterology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, previously told Insider.

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