Scientists are increasingly concerned about the unexplained surge in colon cancer diagnoses among younger and middle-aged Americans.
According to data, the number of cases has nearly doubled in 25 years, with those under the age of 55 accounting for around 20% of all diagnoses.
In 1995, this figure stood at just 11%. The American Cancer Society also issued a warning about the increasing number of cases that are being diagnosed at later stages, making them harder to treat.
Colon Cancer Diagnoses Among Younger Americans
While the reasons for the increase in colon cancer cases among younger Americans remain a mystery, some experts have pointed to unhealthy diets, alcohol consumption, and sedentary lifestyles as potential culprits.
However, these factors do not fully explain why other cancers have remained stable or even decreased among people under 55, according to scientists.
The death of actor Chadwick Boseman, who passed away from colon cancer at the age of 43, brought further attention to the issue. Boseman was widely known for his role as the Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Chadwick Boseman made 7 movies while battling colon cancer
RIP always pic.twitter.com/TtYBDBP3eA
— Film Facts 🎬 (@Factsonfilm) August 28, 2021
The increase in colon cancer diagnoses among younger age groups is concerning and has sparked research into the possible causes.
Unhealthy diets, sedentary lifestyles, and excessive alcohol consumption have been linked to higher rates, but scientists remain uncertain about the exact cause.
Efforts are being made to increase colon cancer screening and detection, with recommendations for Americans aged 45 and older to undergo regular colonoscopies.
President Biden has also pledged to halve cancer deaths in the US over the next 25 years by investing in diagnosis and treatment.
Efforts to Address the Rise in Colon Cancer Cases
Medical experts are becoming increasingly concerned about a significant increase in the number of cases of colon cancer among younger Americans.
According to recent data, the rate of colon cancer diagnosis has almost doubled among individuals aged under 55 in the last 25 years.
In 1995, colon cancer diagnoses in this age group accounted for only 11 percent of all diagnoses, but today they make up nearly a fifth.
Scientists are warning that the trend is particularly concerning as cases are increasingly being diagnosed when cancer has spread to other parts of the body, where it is harder to treat.
Colon cancer is striking younger American adults with greater frequency, and more tumors are being detected in advanced stages https://t.co/UXIK8VpxB8
— TIME (@TIME) March 2, 2023
Despite several theories about the causes of this shift, including unhealthy diets, alcohol consumption, and sedentary lifestyles, scientists still have no clear understanding of why other cancers have not seen similar increases in younger adults.
Medical professionals are urging people to be aware of early warning signs of colon cancer, which include blood in feces, abdominal pain, and unintended weight loss.
Doctors often miss these signs in younger patients, mistakenly believing that they are associated with another illness.
The rise in colon cancer diagnoses among younger Americans is alarming and medical experts are urging people to be vigilant and attend screening appointments.
With President Biden promising to reduce cancer deaths in America over the next quarter-century, it is hoped that investment in diagnoses and treatment will help address this worrying trend.