• Dr. Dooreck with Nicole Lerebours | Physician Assistant Student

"45 is the New 50" When it Comes to Colorectal Cancer Screening

Actualizado: ene 20

Prolific "Black Panther" star, Chadwick Boseman, died earlier this year after fighting a silent four year battle against colon cancer. Boseman was only 43 at the time of his death and is among one of many colon cancer cases on the rise among a younger demographic, a concerning trend that has brought the deadly disease to center stage.

Boseman was only 43 at the time of his death

I'm not 50 yet, so should I get screened?

Colon and rectal cancer (aka colorectal cancer or CRC) rates are growing among younger groups of people, according to a new study by the American Cancer Society (ACS). Estimates show that approximately 12% of colon cancer cases in the U.S. are among individuals under 50. This latest finding has spurred the U.S. public health task force to update their colon cancer screening guidelines, recommending that the minimum age change from 50 to 45.

The Big Picture: Statistics show an upward trend 📈 in colon cancer diagnoses among a younger demographic than in previous decades.
12% of colon cancer cases in the U.S. are among individuals under 50.

Who is at a higher risk?

The precise cause of colorectal cancer remains unclear; however, some risk factors, including cigarette smoking, a diet of red meats, and heavy alcohol consumption, are strongly linked to the disease. There is also a high risk of contracting the disease in people with genetic cancer syndromes or a family history of colorectal cancer.

In the United States, African Americans have the highest prevalence of colorectal cancer. The risk of contracting the disease is also higher for Ashkenazi Jews. If you have no other risk factors and are in one of those racial groups, your doctor may encourage you to undergo screening even earlier than the recommended age of 45.

What are the signs & symptoms of colorectal cancer?

In the early phases, many individuals with colorectal cancer experience no symptoms. Symptoms may vary as they appear depending on the size and location of cancer in your large intestine.

Many individuals with colorectal cancer experience no symptoms

Symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • A sudden change in bowel movements, typically presenting with diarrhea, constipation, or atypical stool consistency

  • Rectal bleeding or bloody stools

  • Abdominal discomforts, such as cramps, trapped gas, or pain

  • Feeling as though your bowels are not completely empty after evacuation

  • Weakness or fatigue

  • Unexplained, often rapid, weight loss

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How is colorectal cancer diagnosed & treated?

Undergoing a colonoscopy is the "gold-standard" to diagnose colorectal cancer. Each case of colorectal cancer is unique, from the position of your cancer, its stage, and any other underlying health issues. As a result, there are varying approaches when it comes to colorectal cancer treatment. Most often, surgery to remove the cancer is required. Other therapies may also be prescribed, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Remember: prevention is key 🔑. Regular colonoscopies, paying attention to your body, maintaining a well-balanced diet 🍽 and an active lifestyle are significant factors in reducing your risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Keep on encouraging friends, family, and coworkers to have a screening colonoscopy as it does save lives—from a truly preventable form of cancer.

Check out this short informational video on colorectal cancer by Stanford Health Care:

Be aware. Be seen. Be screened if warranted.


I eat a high fiber, mostly plant-based 🌱 diet, no red meat, drink 4 liters of water a day, exercise, and am focused on keeping nutrition simple. I am sharing what works for me and what I routinely recommend to my patients.

"Balance. Portion control. Keep nutrition simple. Eat Smart. Eat Healthy. 🌱 🌾 🌿"

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gastroenterology | colonoscopy doctor | colonoscopy and gastroenterology services | gastro doctor | gi doctor | gastrointestinal diagnostic centers | public health

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