How to Spot Early Symptoms of Colon Cancer

Doctor talking to patientNow is the time to raise awareness about colorectal cancer. In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer, not including skin cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined.

According to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, [1] on average, the lifetime risk of developing colon cancer is about one in 23 for men and one in 25 for women.
While the risk of developing colon cancer increases with age, the incidence of colon cancer is rising up to 2 percent annually for people under the age of 50, as well. Research conducted by the American Cancer Society has also found that people younger than age 55 developing colorectal cancer are 58 percent more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage disease than older adults, making curative treatment less likely for them. This dramatic rise in colon cancer incidence in younger individuals prompted the American Cancer Society [2] to now recommend that colorectal cancer screening begin at age 45 for average risk adults.[1] Individuals with a family history of colon cancer should speak to their physicians about beginning screening at even a younger age in some instances, based on the age their affected family members were diagnosed.

Symptoms of Colon Cancer

While in many cases, there are no obvious symptoms with colon cancer, there are some that can be warning signs and should be discussed with your physician. These include:

Risk Factors for Colon Cancer

In addition to being aware of symptoms, you should discuss colon cancer screenings with your physician if you have any of the following risk factors:

Finally, be aware that certain lifestyle factors may also increase your risk for colon cancer:

For more information about colon cancer, visit the Colorectal Cancer Alliance website. [1]
Want to learn more about Fight Colorectal Cancer? [3]

[1] Simon, S. (2018, May 30). American Cancer Society Updates Colorectal Cancer Screening Guideline. Retrieved from Accessed June 10, 2019.

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