Nobody in their 20s, 30s or 40s gets colorectal cancer, right? Wrong.
The truth is that colorectal cancer is on the rise in young adults and has been for years.
Millennials today are twice as likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer today than they were in 1950. It was responsible for the tragic early passing of Chadwick Boseman, the actor who played King T’Challa in Black Panther and baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 42. Boseman died of colon cancer at age 43 in 2020.
It’s an alarming trend.
Chadwick Boseman, as King T’Challa in Black Panther (right) and in 2020 (left).
A trend that caused the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force to change its recommendations for colon cancer screenings to begin at age 45 as of May 2021 – but here in the UK, the NHS only offers routine screens to people aged 60-74.
Mike Asher, CEO and Co-Founder of Better2Know, a private provider of preventative health home test kits said, “warning signs can be very subtle and include symptoms such as constipation, rectal bleeding, or sudden changes in bowel movements.”
“Our Bowel Cancer Screening Test is a simple self-test that can be mailed to you, done at home, in private as a regular screen for colorectal cancer – it’s our best-selling home test kit because it’s so simple to use, inexpensive, and gives peace of mind in as little as 24 hours.”
Yale Medicine Colon & Rectal Surgery doctors report seeing young patients with a diagnosis of colorectal cancer more and more frequently. They diagnosed colon cancer in a father of four in his 30s. He thought for months that his rectal bleeding was caused by haemorrhoids. The youngest colorectal cancer patient diagnosed at this location in recent months was 18.
A recent British Journal of Surgery study highlights an increase in tumours in the lower part of the bowel. While this increase does not seem to be linked to gender or deprivation, there are some regional differences.
The fastest increase in the number of people diagnosed with bowel cancer was found in southern regions of the UK.
Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive at Bowel Cancer UK, said: “Every year over 2,500 younger people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK. We know through our Never Too Young campaign that younger bowel cancer patients have a very different experience of diagnosis, treatment and care.
“They are more likely to be diagnosed in an emergency situation and at a later stage, when the disease is much harder to treat. Whilst the actual numbers remain small, 6% of the 42,000 diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK, this is an important group that can no longer be overlooked.”
Order a bowel screening test kit here.
This post is sponsored by Better2Know.