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Increases in screening have reduced the overall rate of colon cancer deaths among those over 50, however, cases found in younger adults between ages 20-49 have become more common. After analyzing data from the U.S. National Cancer Institute over a 35 year time frame, an increase of up to 2% was found among this younger demographic.
Colon Cancer is the third leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States affecting 143,000 Americans and resulting in 51,000 deaths annually. Efforts to increase screening among the most affected population, those over 50, have reduced the incidence of colon cancer by 1%. However, these same efforts have not been urged among those aged 20-49.
Researchers are unclear as to why the rate of colon cancer is increasing, but intend to pursue study and testing. It has been suggested that certain diet or lifestyle choices may be a primary factor in causing colon cancer. It is recommended that adults routinely discuss the possibility of colon cancer with their physician and undergo regular screening.
Unfortunately, in many cases, once the symptoms of colon cancer only manifest when the condition is already too advanced for effective treatment. This is why early screening and the understanding of risk factors is so important. Doctors are also urged to more aggressively pursue any reported conditions such as rectal bleeding or hemorrhoids that my in fact signal early onset of colon cancer.