The Morning Blend


Young Adults Getting Colon Cancer At High Rate

Posted at 8:00 AM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 08:00:46-05

Although the rate of colorectal cancer (CRC) is rising in younger adults, a new Harris Poll found that many in this age group believe that they are at no or low risk for the disease which affects the colon or rectum.

A new Harris Poll survey found that younger adult respondents (45-49) were most likely to believe they are at low or no risk for colorectal cancer.

Some Key Points from the Survey include:

  • 73% of younger adults believed they are at low risk vs 46% of all adult respondents
  • 29% of younger adults believed they are at no risk vs 22% of all adult respondents
  • Among women, more than two-thirds (71%) believed they’re at low or no risk for colorectal cancer, with 25% believing they were at no risk.

Health care disparities can also be a factor in CRC screening, and race and ethnicity may play a role in level of concern about getting screened. Thirty-four percent of Black respondents and 33% of Hispanic and 36% Asian 26% White respondents also say they are less likely than White adults to be recommended for CRC screening by a doctor. Hispanic adult respondents were least likely to believe they should be getting screened regularly (73%).

Early CRC often has no symptoms, which is one of the reasons screening is so important. Adults who are 45 years of age and older who are at average risk for colorectal cancer can use an easy at home screening test for colorectal cancer that can detect certain DNA markers and other possible markers.

A colon cancer survivor named Scott, who is now cancer-free, is a fervent advocate for cancer screening. He was diagnosed with Stage 1 colon cancer after receiving an initial screening test when he was 50 years old, and wants to encourage others to learn from his experience.

Another passionate colorectal screening advocate is Dr. Angela Nicholas, whose husband passed away after living with colorectal cancer for five and a half years. He was diagnosed when he was 45 years old. Dr. Nicholas also serves as the board chair of Fight CRC, a patient advocacy group for CRC and is the Chief Medical Officer of Einstein Medical Center in Montgomery, PA.

Interview courtesy: Exact Sciences