Today the American Cancer Society released new screening guidelines for colorectal cancer which including changing the age to 45! This discovery was just published in the CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians and states that doctors need to change the age from 50.  This is due to younger people presenting with symptoms early and with the proper treatment they could help prevent colorectal cancer.

Colon Cancer, also known as colorectal cancer has been found to be much more treatable in individuals who are 45 rather than 50 because the polyps are often easier to remove when they are caught early.

WHAT IS COLON CANCER?

Colon cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the colon. Your colon is a large, 5-feet long organ in the digestive system that plays an important role in removing and processing nutrients from our food. The colon is also responsible for removing waste material through the rectum and anal canal. (1)

Overtime many people develop adenomatous polyps, which are often small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells, in their colon. Though most cases polyps remain benign, some turn into colon cancer over time. Most cases of colon cancer starts as benign polyps. Polyps tend to have few or no noticeable symptoms at all, therefore regular screening is often required to remove polyps while benign and to detect cancer early on. (2)

Colon cancer is becoming a serious and growing problem. In the US colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer and 3rd leading cause of cancer-related death. About 4.3% of the population is predicted to be diagnosed with colon cancer at some point in their lifetime. That is 40.1 per 100,000 people who are being diagnosed with colon cancer each year.  Unfortunately, 14.8 per 100,000 end up dying from colon cancer.

Colon cancer affects all genders, though males have a higher risk (46%) than females (35.1%). All ethnicities are also affected, though black males have statistically the highest risk of all (54.6%) and Asian females often have the lowest risk (28.8%). Early detection is crucial as the 5-year survival rate is 39.2% which is why the age was just dropped to 45 years instead of 50 years old.

Check out our full guide on Colorectal Cancer by clicking here.