For most individuals, the recommended age to get screened for colorectal cancer is 50 years old, and for patients with a family history of the disease, screening may be even earlier.
However, in Arizona, we know that over half of colorectal cancers in patients under 50 years old are being diagnosed at late stages, making their cancer more difficult to treat.
Why do we see colorectal cancer in such young patients? The possible reasons are complex. We do understand, however, that if anyone is experiencing symptoms of colorectal cancer at any age, they should be communicating these changes in bowel habits to their doctor right away.
Symptoms of colorectal cancer include:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Feeling that your bowel does not completely empty
- Finding blood in your stools
- Finding your stools are narrower than usual
- Gas pains or cramps, or feeling bloated
- Losing weight with no known reason
- Feeling tired all the time
- Nausea and vomiting
Check out this video from the Colon Cancer Alliance about young colorectal patients: