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Too Young for This Sh*t

You may think you’re too young for this sh*t, but colorectal cancer is on the rise in younger adults—so listen up.


underwear icon Get the facts

Most people think that colorectal cancer affects only older adults—but today, more adults under the recommended screening age are being diagnosed than ever before. According to a 2015 study by MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers, by 2030 researchers expect that rates of colon cancer will increase by 90 percent for people ages 20-34 and 27.7 percent for people ages 35-49.

People under 50 who are diagnosed with colorectal are more likely to:

  • Be diagnosed at a later stage (when the cancer is more advanced and harder to treat)
  • Have to see two or more doctors before getting diagnosed
  • Have a family history of colorectal cancer

It’s important for all adults to learn about colorectal cancer prevention, early detection and the signs and symptoms of the disease—even if you think you’re too young for this sh*t.

underwear icon Know your risk

While your risk of getting colorectal cancer increases as you get older, it’s important to learn about other risk factors when you’re young, including:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Not getting enough physical activity
  • Eating a diet high in red or processed meats
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol use

Your health history can also increase your risk, including having personal or family history of:

  • Colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps (growths)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • Genetic syndromes like familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome)

If you have a history of any of these conditions, you may need to be screened earlier or more often – talk with your doctor right away.

underwear icon Understand the symptoms

Knowing the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer can help you recognize any changes in your body that could be cancer.

Colorectal polyps and colorectal cancer may not cause symptoms (especially at first), but symptoms may include:

  • Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement)
  • Stomach pain, aches or cramps that don’t go away
  • A change in bowel habits (like diarrhea or constipation) lasting more than a few days
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor. You know your body best—so don’t be afraid to advocate for your health!

underwear icon Take steps to prevent

The good news is that colorectal cancer is preventable. Because most colorectal cancer cases start as precancerous polyps, getting screened is the most effective way to reduce your risk.

Start screening at age 45 if you’re at an average risk, but if you have certain risk factors you may need to start screening sooner or get screened more often—talk to your health care professional.

When it comes to colorectal cancer screening, you have options. Talk with your doctor about the best screening test for you.

underwear icon Spread the word!

Want to help raise awareness about the importance of colorectal cancer screening and prevention? Share our graphics on social media with #2Young4This! Click here to download.



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References:

American Cancer Society (ACS). (2018) “Colon Cancer Cases Rising Among Young Adults.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2019) “What Are the Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer?”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2019) “What Are the Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer?”

Colorectal Cancer Alliance. (2019) 2018 Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Survey.

Resources

Filter:

News | Oct 27, 2020 USPSTF changes recommended age for colorectal cancer screening to 45
News | Sep 18, 2020 The Weekly: Black Americans and cancer, hospital charges and more
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News | Sep 11, 2020 The Weekly: E-cigarette use among teens, lung cancer and more
News | Sep 4, 2020 The Weekly: Chadwick Boseman, colon cancer and more
News | Aug 31, 2020 Prevent Cancer Foundation remembers actor and cultural icon Chadwick Boseman
News | Aug 26, 2020 Prevent Cancer Foundation® awards $250,000 in community grants
News | Aug 6, 2020 Prevent Cancer Foundation announces “Back on the Books” — A lifesaving initiative in the face of COVID-19
News | Aug 5, 2020 Gut Check: Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Report
News | Mar 18, 2020 Observing Colorectal Cancer Month year-round
News | Feb 26, 2020 Cancer screening 101
News | Jan 30, 2020 Prevent Cancer Foundation awards $1.1 million in cancer research and global grants
Video | Jan 8, 2020 Beyond gaming
News | Dec 18, 2019 2019: A year in review
News | Jun 5, 2019 Listen to your body: A young-onset colorectal cancer patient’s journey [Patrick Beauregard]
Video | Apr 22, 2019 “Too Young for This Sh*t: The Rise of Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer” Webcast
News | Mar 22, 2019 Think you’re “Too Young for This Sh*t?” Think again.
News | Mar 19, 2019 Take action: Help remove financial barriers to colorectal cancer screening
News | Mar 14, 2019 Bay Mills community to explore giant inflatable colon
News | Jan 25, 2019 FDA approves 23andMe Inc. to distribute direct-to-consumer genetic test for colorectal cancer risk
News | Jan 7, 2019 Overcoming the unknown
News | Sep 19, 2018 Patient Groups and Doctors Tell Congress to Pass Medicare Virtual Colonoscopy Coverage
News | Jun 13, 2018 Men’s Health Month: What should I ask at the doctor’s office?
News | Jun 4, 2018 The Prevent Cancer Foundation® supports American Cancer Society’s new screening recommendations for colorectal cancer
News | Aug 29, 2017 The Super Colon from coast to coast
News | Jul 20, 2017 Prevent Cancer Foundation® reaches underserved rural communities
News | Jun 23, 2017 ICYMI: June 23, 2017
News | Mar 27, 2017 Prevent Cancer Foundation’s community grantees work toward 80% by 2018
News | Mar 23, 2017 A healthy colon starts with what you eat
News | Mar 10, 2017 ICYMI: March 10, 2017
News | Mar 3, 2017 ICYMI: March 3, 2017
News | Jan 20, 2017 ICYMI: January 20, 2016

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