What a way start to Colon Cancer Awareness Month?!?
As we are just getting past through heart disease awareness month I thought I was would only have to do a couple of articles/videos on colon cancer just to get everyone caught up to speed when the Journal Of the National Cancer Institute drops a mini grenade right at the beginning of the month.
Here is a link to the article – Colorectal Cancer Incidence Patterns in the United States
For my readers who may feel a bit overwhelmed by the article here is my summary version:
- Colon Cancer rates are the decline and continue to be over the past decade
- The chance at getting rectal cancer is the same for those under 50 as it is for those over 50
- The rate of rectal carcinoma has continued to decline over the past 40 years for those older than 50
- Incidence rates of colon cancer have actually INCREASED for those aged 20-29
- The chance of getting rectal cancer under the age of 55 has doubled in the past 40 yrs
Now if you are in my age bracket [the mid thirties] than those last two lines probably should scare you a little bit. Here we are with the colon cancer declining across the board in all groups except young people. From a public health perspective there has always been a push to get more people screened for colon cancer because of the high incidence but I don't think we could have seen a situation where now we have to start campaigning to make sure the young are getting screening as well.
Why are young people getting colon and rectal cancer?
- Lack of proper screening
All of the above are known risk factors for colon cancer and what the numbers seem to indicate that we[physicians] are doing a bad job educating the young adults to try to help prevent this. Now lets play devils advocate here. Are young people being diagnosed with cancer more because they aren't seeing a doctor until the symptoms are really bad? This may be a point to think about because the study found that when colon/rectal cancer was diagnosed in this population that it was more severe and advanced than the older population.
In summary an article like this is eye opening because it reminds us physicians that we can't keep continuing to focus on just the “medicare population” but it also gives us another tool to encourage our youth to come and see us & get there check ups in order.
Stay tuned for the next medical spotlight & Facebook live where I will be of course talking about colon cancer. Also, don't forget to sign up to be apart of the 3000 members of Dr. Berry's Health Squad.
Incidence rates of colon cancer have actually INCREASED for those aged 20-29 Click To Tweet
.. colon cancer declining across the board in all groups except young people. Click To Tweet
Why are young people getting colon and rectal cancer? Click To Tweet