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Colon cancer rates rising 2% in every year in people under age 50

The CentraCare Health Coborn Cancer Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota   -  
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Kimm Anderson/AP

Cancer

Cancer doctors are concerned about an alarming increase in colorectal cancers occurring in patients under age 50. 

While the disease has a highly effective screening test (colonoscopy) to aid in the early diagnosis and prevention of colorectal cancers, people of average risk don’t begin this test until between the ages of 45 and 50. 

Ning Jin, MD of (OSUCCC – James) says everyone should be aware of the symptoms of colorectal cancer — which include sudden weight loss, abdominal pain and rectal bleeding — and seek medical attention if they’re experiencing symptoms. 

Studies suggest that modifiable lifestyle factors, such as eating a diet high in fiber and low in animal fats/red meat, as well as regular exercise and avoiding alcohol and tobacco could reduce a person’s risk.

She also talks about how inherited genetic factors such as Lynch syndrome, impact overall risk.