Colon cancer is killing young people more than ever: What to know about the first signs of the disease

Colon cancer is gaining traction online, as recent research from the American Cancer Society shows it’s killing more younger people than ever. As more Canadians ask questions surrounding symptoms and first signs of colon cancer, and seek information on screening and testing, it’s important to stay informed. Knowing whether colon cancer is treatable and understanding its causes, especially in women, can help you in your health journey. Here’s what you need to know.

A cancer statistics report released in January indicated colorectal cancer is the first leading cause of cancer death amongst men younger than age 50. It’s also the second deadliest cancer for women in the same age group, behind breast cancer.

That’s compared to the late-1990s, where colorectal cancer was the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women under 50.

“The continuous sharp increase in colorectal cancer in younger Americans is alarming,” American Cancer Society senior vice president of surveillance and health equity science Dr. Ahmedin Jemal said in a statement. Between both sexes, colorectal cancer ranks third amongst overall cancer deaths.

The report also estimated in 2024, the United States will see more than 152,000 new cases of colorectal cancer amongst men and women. Out of all cases for the year, there could also be more than 53,000 deaths. For the first time ever, more than two million new overall cancer cases are projected for 2024.

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