colon-cancer-top-banner-012617Many people do not consider colon cancer to be a disease that often is at the forefront of a young person’s mind. However, that may not be the case in the future as the colon cancer rates in people between the ages of 20 and 49 have increased a good amount over the last twenty years.  Researchers estimate that these rates will continue to rise over the next 20 years which is why it is important that young people realize that they too, are at risk.

While the cause of this uptick in colon cancer is unknown, experts do have their theories. Many people think this increase can be attributed to the rising rate of obesity and other dietary choices people are making in today’s world. However, these theories have no scientific backing currently.

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In order to avoid becoming one of the many people who are battling colon cancer before they ever reach the age of 50, there are several steps you can take. Continue reading below to learn what these are.

  1. Look Out For Symptoms
    Many young people think of colon cancer as something that solely affects older people. This is why they often are not aware of what the signs and symptoms of this cancer actually are. While not every person who has colon cancer will experience the exact same set of symptoms, most will exhibit a collection of the same problems. Some people, for instance, can develop anemia, while others may see blood in their bowel movements. There are also often complaints from patients about pain in their stomachs. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor immediately.
  2. Know Your Family History
    Knowing you are potentially at risk for colon cancer can save your life. That is why getting familiar with your family medical history is beyond important. A Primary Care Physician can also help to determine how at risk you are for developing colon cancer during your lifetime.
  3. Get Fit
    While this is just a great practice in order to lead a long and healthy life, getting fit can play a serious role in preventing you from getting certain types of cancer. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, exercising and ceasing any habits that may be having harmful effects on your health, like smoking, can severely increase your overall quality of life.
  4. Reach Out To Your Gastroenterologist
    One of the most frustrating things about younger people for doctors is how infrequently they visit health care providers. Young people as though they are invincible much of the time and this can lead to them having conditions for months or even years that they are not aware of. If you are concerned with the health of your colon, don’t be afraid to reach out to your gastroenterologist at West Gastroenterology.
  5. Don’t Fear The Colonoscopy
    Colonoscopies have a bad reputation. While these procedures are not the most fun thing to experience, they can save your life. While the majority of people do not even consider having a colonoscopy until they are at least in their mid forties or early fifties, the recent spike in young people diagnosed with colon cancer may be ending that trend in the next few years. Colonoscopies are very safe and can identify colon cancer at very early stages. Keeping this in mind, you should always have a colonoscopy if it is recommended by your doctor, regardless of your age. Not doing so could literally mean the difference between life and death.

Worried About Colon Cancer?

If you would like more information about colon cancer or you want to make an appointment with one of the talented members of our medical staff, call us today at West Gastroenterology.

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