The Importance of Millennials Being Aware of Colon Cancer Symptoms

Colon cancer is on the rise among younger adults, with more diagnoses occurring at advanced stages of the disease. The American Cancer Society reports a concerning trend that experts have observed over the past decade.

Dr. Johanna Chan, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist, emphasizes the importance of recognizing colon cancer symptoms and seeking medical attention if they are experienced. Symptoms of colon cancer often do not manifest in the early stages of the disease, making early detection crucial.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society recommend that individuals of average risk begin screening for colorectal cancer at age 45. Dr. Chan stresses that colon cancer can affect anyone, regardless of age, and advises individuals to be proactive about their health.

Common symptoms of colon cancer include stomach discomfort and unexplained weight loss. Other warning signs such as rectal bleeding, anemia, and changes in bowel habits should not be ignored, especially in younger patients. While these symptoms may also indicate other health issues, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider for proper evaluation.

Factors that may increase the risk of colon cancer include family history, bowel disease, diabetes, obesity, and environmental exposures like smoking or heavy alcohol use. Dr. Chan recommends a personalized approach to colorectal cancer screening for individuals with specific risk factors, such as a family history of the disease.

To learn more about colon cancer symptoms and prevention, individuals are encouraged to visit the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Center blog. Stay informed and proactive about your health to reduce the risk of colon cancer and ensure early detection if necessary.

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