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When it comes to colorectal cancer, various factors affect your risk for developing this deadly disease, including your ethnicity. African Americans are more likely to develop colorectal cancer at a younger age than Caucasian or Hispanics.

 

Why are African Americans More Likely to Develop Colorectal Cancer?

Multiple factors affect one’s likelihood of developing colorectal cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, African Americans are more likely to have a predisposition to colorectal cancer due to genetic makeup. Mutations in the KRAS gene, which affect a cell’s ability to repair errors in DNA replication, are more abundant in African Americans. 

 

Are African-Americans Less Likely to Get Screened for Colorectal Cancer?

African Americans are less likely to get screened for colorectal cancer, which is attributed to an increase in colorectal cancer mortality rates. According to recent research, medical mistrust may contribute to a decrease in screenings for African Americans. 

 

How Can I Convince My Friends to Get Screened?

Ask your friends if they are abiding by the recommended screening guidelines. The American Cancer Society recommends starting screenings at 45-year-old for those with normal risk. Learn more about colorectal cancer screenings and get tested today.

 

Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is the second deadliest cancer in the United States. While the cancer often affected those over 50-years-old in the past, colon cancer is increasing in young adults at an alarming rate. Learn more about why early-onset colon cancer is on the rise for those under the age of 50 and what you can do to combat the deadly cancer.

 

How Many People Will Develop Colon Cancer in 2019?

According to the American Cancer Society, there will be 145,600 new cases of colon cancer this year. Fifty-one thousand and twenty deaths are predicted to happen due to this disease. Young adults will contribute to these numbers, despite decreasing rates of colon cancer in those over 50-years-old.

 

What Factors Have Lead to an Increase in Colon Cancer in Adults?

One of the most significant factors in colon cancer increasing in young adults is the lack of screening. Until recently, the American Cancer Society recommended that standard screening starts at 50-years-old if you do not have a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors. However, they changed their screening recommendations to start at 45-years-old to accommodate for the higher risk of colon cancer in young adults.

One of the significant concerns with early-onset colon cancer is the amount of time between the diagnoses and treatment; this can often lead to a higher fatality rate for those that do not discover they have the deadly disease. If you have any questions or concerns about colorectal cancer screenings, reach out to your primary doctor.

 

What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk?

If you are worried about colon cancer, learn more about early-onset colon cancer. Convince your loved ones to get screened at 45-years-old if they are at average risk and earlier if they have a family history of colon cancer.

Let’s face it: we’ve all been there before with gastrointestinal issues. Chances are that you’ve encountered some of the symptoms of early onset colorectal cancer. However, do you know when to chalk your symptoms up to a temporary situation or whether it’s time to go to the doctor? Learn more about the early symptoms of colorectal cancer and discover whether you should get tested.

 

A change your bowel habits

If your bowel movement schedule changes drastically over a few days, you should see your family practice physician to know if you are at risk of colorectal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, if you usually have a bowel movement three times a day but now are only going once you should be concerned about the change in your bowel movements.

 

Blood in your stool that is bright red or black

Any sign of blood in your stool is usually not a good sign when it comes to your intestinal health. Bright red or black blood is an early sign of colorectal cancer and should be discussed with your doctor.

 

Diarrhea and constipation

Two of the more common symptoms of colorectal cancer, diarrhea and constipation often come in pairs. If you have a tumor in your bowel, you are likely to face constipation and then diarrhea when the contents are finally passes.

 

Frequent gas, bloating or cramps

While it is normal to have some of these symptoms, excessive gas, bloating or cramping may mean you are at risk for colorectal cancer. One way you to try to decrease gas is to watch your diet. Foods high in fiber, carbonated beverages and dairy may increase gas, so consider cutting those foods out to see if they decrease how often you pass gas.

 

If you have any of these early symptoms of colorectal cancer, learn about how to screen for colon cancer. The earlier you screen, the better your chances are of fighting this deadly disease. Make an appointment with your family practice doctor today to discuss colorectal cancer.

 

This month, honor the thousands of colon cancer patients, survivors, and champions by spreading awareness regarding colorectal cancer during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Since 2000, the colorectal cancer community has mobilized during the month of March to raise awareness, increase education and convince loved ones to get screened. There are multiple ways to get involved during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, starting with learning more about colorectal cancer.

Get educated about colorectal cancer

While colorectal cancer in adults over 50-years-old has declined, colorectal cancer is on the rise among younger generations. Today, even teenagers are being diagnosed at alarmingly greater rates. Around 13,500 people under the age of 50 will become diagnosed with colon cancer. One of the largest issues that screenings do no begin until 50, so these diagnoses will often become late-stage diagnoses. Make sure to have the conversation about colorectal cancer with your loved ones and your doctors earlier than later.

Wear blue to show your support

March 1 is officially Dress in Blue Day, but you can wear blue all month long to show support for colorectal cancer survivors and patients. Encourage your workplace and friends to wear blue to get the conversation about colorectal cancer started. Make sure to post to social media and tag the Colon Cancer Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Participate in the 16th Annual Colon Cancer Challenge

Join us for the 16th Annual Colon Cancer Challenge on March 24 to show support for those with colorectal cancer and raise funds for the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation. We are ecstatic to host the challenge this year at the Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. In 2018, an estimated 135,000 Americans were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. If caught early enough, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent. With the 16th Annual Colon Cancer Challenge, we can work together to reduce these fatalities. Whether you participate in the 5K or spearhead fundraising efforts among your friends, you are helping the Colon Cancer Foundation to improve the life of current patients, survivors and future patients of this deadly disease. No matter what distance you cover, you will make up ground in the race to prevent colorectal cancer.

Whether you choose to dress in blue or attend the 16th Annual Colon Cancer Challenge — we hope you do both — make sure to show your support during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Even after the month of March, you can help us fight colorectal cancer with the “Eighty by 2018.” Take the pledge to get screened,  choose a healthy way of eating and lead a  physically active life.