Colon cancer is the third most common cancer among men and women, as well as the third most popular cause of a cancerous death. The Washington AFP says that people under the age of 34 have double the risk they used to of getting colon cancer over the next 15 years. A study conducted by MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, projected that by 2030, more than 1 in 10 cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed as well as 1 in 4 rectal cancers will be diagnosed in patients under the age of 50.
The Journal of the American Medical Association attributes this projected rise of colon cancer to the unhealthy Western diet and other unhealthy lifestyle factors including a lack of physical activity.
This exponential increased risk could have a real impact among young people if the public education system doesn’t make drastic changes as well as the government calling for further prevention efforts.
If these projections are accurate, nearly 137,000 people will be diagnosed in the United States with colon cancer and 50,000 or more people will die of the disease.
A general warning has been given to doctors that the increase in incidence rate is increasing across all stages of the disease, so what may otherwise be dismissed in younger people, should be given greater attention and colon screening tests should be conducted at a much younger age.
Simply identifying these patterns through much research effort is a crucial first step in instigating a shift toward further cancer prevention, says principal investigator, George Chang.
While the reality of more colonoscopies is an expensive endeavor, without always much benefit, this research should lead to the development of more alternative risk-prediction tools.