According to statistics, colorectal cancer is the fourth most prevalent cancer diagnosed and the second leading cause of cancer death in the world to this date! However, this information does not do justice to the sheer gravity of the issue.
Colorectal cancer has been on the rise for people aged 18 to 35. Moreover, screening for this type of cancer is often neglected by people in this age group. Often, it is not even suggested by medical professionals until they are 45 to 50 years old!
If the current trends continue, colon cancer cases in patients under the age of 35 are likely to increase by 90 percent by the year 2030, and rectal cancer cases are expected to skyrocket exponentially by 124 percent in patients under the age of 35.
As it stands today, 60% of these young patients have been diagnosed with stage III to IV colorectal cancer. That implies their cancer is discovered later when it is more difficult to treat.
Why is colorectal cancer on the rise among young adults?
Due to the lack of research and awareness of this issue, doctors have noted that the overall number of people under the age of 35 diagnosed with colorectal cancer is not known precisely.
What we do know is that nearly a third of colorectal cancer patients in that age bracket, compared to 3% to 5% of all patients, had an inherited genetic mutation that caused their disease.
Moreover, about 15% to 20% of colorectal cancer patients under the age of 35 had a family history of colorectal cancer or other cancers, indicating they may be at increased risk.
So, we know that family history and genetics play a role in causing a good portion of colorectal cancers in young adults, but we are yet to know the exact cause of this disease in the remaining group of people.
How can you reduce the risk of colorectal cancer?
These are some of the few things you can do to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer:
Exercise daily: Even a tiny bit of exercise per week, such as regular brisk walks, might help you feel better overall, boosting your immunity and helping your body fight diseases.
Eat well: A rich in fibre diet, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables have also been shown to encourage good gut bacteria, which has been linked to a lowered risk of cancer. It’s possible that eating too much red meat and processed meals can also raise the risk of cancer developing at a young age.
Maintaining a healthy weight: According to a recent study, obesity causes roughly 500,000 cancer occurrences worldwide. It’s also a known risk factor for a variety of malignant cancers, including colon, rectum, breast, and pancreatic cancers.
Quit smoking: Tobacco smoke is by far the world’s leading cause of cancer. The smoke inhaled contains carcinogens, which travel through the bloodstream and may raise the risk of digestive system cancers while also affecting the lungs and other precious organs.
In conclusion, colorectal cancer is a prevalent issue that is affecting numerous young adults today and needs to gain more awareness so as to save precious lives. As an individual, it is our responsibility as well to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle, to limit the chances of getting any such malignancies.
For more information, or if you wish to consult with some of the best oncologists in Karachi feel free to reach out to A Lab. A one stop solution to all your medical screenings.