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Best Life: Colorectal Cancers Are Spiking in People Under 55—These Are the First Signs

From Best Life: An alarming new report from the American Cancer Society showed that approximately 20 percent of new colorectal cancer diagnoses in 2019 were in patients under the age of 55. That’s a jump from 11 percent in 1995—and what’s more, they report, about 60 percent of those diagnosed in 2019 already had advanced stages of the disease. In 1995, when screening for colorectal cancers was less common, only 57 percent of cases were late-stage at diagnosis. Colorectal cancer, or CRC, is quite common: The American Cancer Society says it’s the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Over the past two decades, they note, the incidence of CRC has decreased among people age 65 and older. However, this is not true for those under 65. While this uptick in colorectal cancers among young people is certainly cause for concern, knowing the early symptoms of the disease, as well as getting screened regularly, may help ease your mind—and could even end up saving your life. Read on to find out what signs to be on the lookout for, and why doctors say some patients drag their feet when it comes to scheduling a screening. “While outcomes for colorectal cancer have been improving over the past few decades, it is concerning that there has been a rise in diagnoses among younger patients,” says Shivan Mehta, MD, the Associate Chief Innovation Officer at Penn Medicine and an associate professor of Gastroenterology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “As a result of that, the guidelines for routine screening have actually changed so instead of age 50, everyone is now recommended to start getting screened at age 45, regardless of having symptoms,” he tells Best Life. Read more at Best Life.