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Colon Cancer Emerging as Biggest Death Cause in the Young: Colorado Doctors


New surprising data reveals that among cancer deaths in individuals under 55, colorectal cancer has become a leading cause. Doctors highlight a decline in diagnoses among older individuals, but the rate of colorectal cancer diagnoses in young people is significantly rising, with researchers still exploring the reasons behind this trend. Karissa Rund, diagnosed with stage-four colorectal cancer at the age of 31, emphasizes the need for awareness among young individuals and encourages them to consult their doctors for early detection.

In 2024, the American Cancer Society projects over 150,000 new diagnoses of colorectal cancer. Dr. Christopher Lieu, a GI Medical Oncologist at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, emphasizes that colorectal cancer is becoming a predominant cancer-related concern for younger individuals. Symptoms may include blood in stool, sudden weight loss, abdominal pain, or changes in bowel habits. Screening is recommended for those with average risk starting at age 45, but individuals with increased risk or symptoms should initiate screening earlier.

If you are age 45 or older talk to your primary care provider about what the best screening test is for colorectal cancer, know your family history, do not ignore warning signs, and again just have that great relationship with your primary care provider to make sure, hey, if any of these symptoms come up, do not ignore it. You are never too young to have colorectal cancer,” Dr. Lieu said.

While a colonoscopy remains the gold standard for screening, there are now several less invasive stool-based tests available, which can be conducted at home.

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