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The Importance of Colon Check Up Once You Hit 40!

If you happen to have used that famous phrase ‘life begins at 40’ for the past 3 to 5 years, then it’s high time you had your colon checked.

The American Cancer Society just recently updated its guidelines for the screening of both rectal and colon cancer, lowering the screening age from 50 to 45, as was previously advised.

The new guidelines have been put in place, sighting the sudden increase in the risk of colorectal cancer that is now affecting younger adults.

Those poised to have the highest risk are African Americans, persons with a  family history, Natives of Alaska, as well as a person who has a personal history with rectal or colon polyps.

With the increase in the number of younger people being diagnosed with colorectal cancer alarming, the age limit has been reduced from 50 to 45 to help affected discover their diagnoses earlier

Hence, such risk factors could dictate that people be screened earlier for better understanding and analysis.

New Guidelines brought to light

The new guidelines were recently published on Wednesday last week in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, indicating that there are six optional screening procedures and tests for adults, ranging from visual exams such as colonoscopy, to noninvasive stool tests. All these tests are dependent on the availability of the test, as well as the preference of the patient.

On the other hand, some organizations like the US Preventive Services Task Force, still advocate for the routine screening for either rectal or colon cancers to commence at the age of 50.

A staggering statistic

Colorectal cancer, which refers to having both rectal and colon cancer, is the third most prevalent cancer-related death in the world.

The danger of colorectal cancer cannot be downplayed. It has the third highest cancer-related death toll in the world and the second cancer-related death toll in the United States

The statistics in the US are also dreary, with colorectal cancer being the second largest cause of cancer-related deaths in the country.

In fact, recent studies have discovered that the rates of colorectal cancer are steadily on the rise among American adults that are below the age of 55.

Initially, the rates of mortality due to colorectal cancer had declined from 1970 to 2004, however, they began to increase gradually by 1% every year from 2004 to 2014.

What is causing a rise in colorectal cancer?

Over the years, doctors have discovered that obesity is greatly associated with a prevalence of quite a number of cancers, one of them being specifically colorectal cancer. Moreover, the obesity epidemic continually increases in the United States, and this could be one of the determining factors.

Another major setback in the fight against colorectal cancer is the sedentary lifestyles that people have now adopted. Not only does this result in health reduction, but the inclusion of highly processed foods makes the situation much more dangerous.

In fact, in a report released last week by the World Cancer Research Fund together with the American Institute for Cancer Research, it strongly advocated that people that are physically active and consumed whole grain foods with that were high in fiber, were less likely to get colorectal cancer.

A sedentary lifestyle and poor diet has been shown to increase the chances of colorectal cancer at a younger age, advising people to stay away from highly-processed foods

Conclusively, these studies indicate that a healthy lifestyle could be one of the most effective ways to consequently reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and subsequent complications during adulthood.

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