Call To Action: The Increasing Incidence of Young Onset Colorectal Cancer

By Emily Wozniak

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:

For more information, contact Emily Wozniak, HealthCheck Programs Operations Manager, or Virginia Warren, Cancer Control Office Chief, within the Bureau of Health Systems Development at ADHS.

Fit at Fifty HealthCheck Program Encourages Everyone to Get Screened

By Emily Wozniak

According to the American Cancer Society, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20.

Not enough Arizonans are getting screened for colorectal cancer at the recommended age or if they are experiencing symptoms. It is important to talk to your doctor about your colon health and to discuss your options for getting screened.

Being uninsured is not an excuse: the Fit at Fifty HealthCheck Program is here to help if you or someone you know does not have health insurance. The program at ADHS screens about 1,500 Arizonans per year by providing Fecal Immunochemical Tests (FITs) and colonoscopies for individuals who qualify.

Learn more about the work being done here at ADHS to get people screened for colorectal cancer and check out the video below:

Think Pink and Go Blue: Get Screened for Colorectal Cancer in October

By Emily Wozniak

This October, it is important to think pink for breast health, but consider your colon health and get screened for colorectal cancer, too.

The 2014 Phoenix Undy Run/Walk reminds us to open the dialogue with your doctor about getting screened for colorectal cancer if you are over the age of 50 or experiencing symptoms at any age.

This year, the Undy Run/Walk is on Sunday, November 16th at the State Capitol District. The Fit at Fifty HealthCheck Programat ADHS is gearing up for another great event to raise awareness and get people screened for colorectal cancer.

In the U.S. and in Arizona, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Across men and women, all age groups, races, and ethnicities, about half of all colorectal cancer diagnoses in Arizona are late-stage, which are more difficult to treat.

It’s clear: data surrounding colorectal cancer screening nationwide shows that not enough Americans are up-to-date on their screenings, and too many are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer at late stages.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Cancer Society, National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, and Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) have kicked off the “80% by 2018” initiative to prioritize colorectal cancer screenings nationwide.

This movement aims to get 80% of Americans screened for colorectal cancer by the year 2018.

Join ADHS in the fight to end colorectal cancer. Talk to your doctor about getting screened for colorectal cancer, and join our ADHS Undy Run/Walk Team today.

For more information, contact Emily Wozniak, HealthCheck Programs Operations Manager, or Virginia Warren, Cancer Control Office Chief, within the Bureau of Health Systems Development at ADHS.