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​Those Under 50 Should Be Aware of Colon Cancer

For years, colon cancer wasn't a concern for those under the age of 50, but research suggests it may become one.

​​Some adults assume that they don't have to worry about colon cancer because they are younger than age of 50. While this belief is based in some logic – most incidences of the disease occur in those who have passed that age threshold – it makes the risky and ultimately incorrect assumption that colorectal cancer doesn't also strike those younger.

In fact, cases among Americans between the ages of 20 and 49 are on the rise, according to a new study.
The study, led by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, looked at U.S. National Cancer Institute data from between 1975 and 2010 and found that while rates for those 50 and older fell about 1 percent annually, they rose by double that figure in the population aged 20-34. Rates also increased among those aged 35-49 by roughly half a percent.

These data, which researchers believe will continue to trend this way, highlight a very important fact: Regardless of age, American adults should be aware of their risk factors for colon cancer and should be taking proactive steps to avoid it.

These steps include making dietary changes, quitting smoking and getting more exercise. In addition, visiting a multispecialty physician group may help in more accurately determining your risk for the disease.

While the exact reason for the increase is unclear, researchers believe that lifestyle and diet, along with a potential genetic component to development of colon cancer, should be considered for those between 20 and 49. If you or a family member is at an increased risk for the disease, regardless of age, visit a Kelsey-Seybold clinic today. Our knowledgeable staff can provide you with the information you need and perform a screening test if required.​