A new study has confirmed a dramatic and steady increase of colon and real cancers among millennials and Generation X adults over the last 4 decades. According to researchers at the American Cancer Society, the exact causes are unknown, but it is suspected that it can be attributed to lack of physical activity, obesity and poor nutrition.
“Colorectal cancer had been thought a success story because overall rates have fallen as screening has increased among older adults. But it appears that under the surface, the underlying risk for colorectal cancer is rising…and it is rising pretty quickly among young adults. The result: Someone born in 1990 has double the risk of early colon cancer and quadruple the risk of early rectal cancer as someone born in 1950. It is likely that millennials and Generation X adults will carry that risk forward as they age. Anything more than about 1 percent a year is a big change. That means more people getting colon and rectal cancers today are in their most productive years.” -Rebecca Siegel, Researcher
Out of the nation’s annual reported cases, 135K, there are 50k deaths in relation to colon and rectal cancer in adults 55 . Cases in younger adults has increased to 29% and 17% for rectal cancer and colon cancer, respectively. The study also indicted that approximately 11k people in their 40s, and about 4k under 40 were diagnosed in just 2013.
Presently, screenings for colon and rectal cancers are recommended for adults over 50, as well as for younger adults with genetic and family histories of the diseases. Some symptoms to be aware of (and proactive about) are cramps, bloody stools unexplained weight loss and significant change in bowel habits.
Here is the link to the study.