Since the 1990s, the risk of colorectal cancer in people under the age of 50 has doubled. By 2030, it is expected that 1 in 10 colon cancers and 1 in 4 rectal cancers would be identified in adults under the age of 50. Medical oncologist Patrick Boland, MD, of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, offers his perspective on the subject.
Poor nutrition, obesity, and high alcohol consumption can all contribute to the development of colorectal cancer. The new age for beginning colon cancer screening tests, such as colonoscopy, has been set at 45 years old. Rectal bleeding with or without pain, blood in the stool, a change in bowel pattern, bloating, cramps, weight loss without dieting, and weariness are some of the symptoms. Experts advocate a low-fat, well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as limiting alcohol use.