Health Tips Tuesday: Colorectal Cancer Rates
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – A new study assessing colorectal cancer rates has found that young people have the biggest increases in advanced-stage colorectal cancer.
Dr. Kelly Tyler, Medical Director of Colorectal Surgery at Baystate Health, spoke with David about these findings.
People between the ages of 20 and 39 show the greatest increases in the later stages of the disease, a new study has found. Why is that?
Tyler: “So there are two factors. First, the incidence of people born in the 1990s is a bit higher than it was in the 1950s, which has caused a change, but the biggest problem is that it is also an age group that does not screen for colonoscopies, so we know that in all patients and all people, when they are not screened, they have a much higher chance of later developing colorectal cancer.
Should colorectal cancer screening begin before age 45?
Tyler: “It’s a tough question because we determine our need for testing based on how many people have the disease. Even though it’s increasing in younger people, it’s still around one percent of people in that age group, so launching widespread screening might not be the most effective thing to do.
What are the ways to prevent colorectal cancer?
Tyler: “A lot of lifestyle factors have to be considered: healthy eating, staying active. We know that stubbornness and bad habits like smoking and drinking to extremes can increase your risk. Some factors we cannot change such as your family history or genetics. A message that I would like to convey is that if you are experiencing symptoms, be sure to see your doctor or health care provider and speak to them in a timely manner.
What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?
Tyler: “One of the most important things to know about cancer is no symptoms at all, so if you’re eligible for things like a colonoscopy you definitely should have it, but probably the most common is rectal bleeding and a lot of people think it’s from hemorrhoids and that’s normal and most of the time it’s hemorrhoids but not always so if you have persistent bleeding you really need to get it checked out one of your healthcare providers to talk about it.
Copyright 2022. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.