Doctors have been recommending that people over the age of 50 get routine colonoscopies to check for colon cancer since the mid-1980s.
That recommendation is credited with a 2.8% decline in cancer incidence in adult men from 1998 to 2005.
Once thought to be an old person's disease, a new study indicates that colon cancer is turning up in younger and younger individuals, both men and women.
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Sharing the story of a 23-year-old Schaumburg man diagnosed with stage four colon cancer two years ago, the Chicago Sun-Times pointed to a study by the American Cancer Society, which found that colorectal cancer is on the rise among younger adults.
"We're definitely seeing a higher rate of colorectal cancer for younger people at our institution ... at least five patients a year under 30," LaMann's doctor said, but they can't tell if it's "environmental, genetic, or a combination of both."
The study doesn't go so far as to recommend regular screening for younger people, but the paper says, "it should raise vigilance about symptoms reported in younger adults, including rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits and anemia accompanied by blood in the stool, researchers wrote."