Southaven Gastroenterologist

March Newsletter

 Colon Cancer Awareness: Rising Rates and Screening Importance

Colorectal cancer remains a major health concern, ranking as the 3rd leading cause of cancer deaths in men and 4th in women in the United States. Alarmingly, cases are increasing among younger adults under 50, with a 51% rise since 1994. Potential risk factors driving this trend include poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol, gut microbiome changes, and obesity.

While national colorectal cancer rates have been declining overall, the disease continues to disproportionately impact the African American community with rising cases and deaths. Geographic hotspots are emerging too, with Western states seeing the fastest increases in young-onset cases, often located in the left colon and rectum.

Early detection is crucial. Seek medical attention for symptoms like rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue, or changed bowel habits. Knowing your family history is also important. Colonoscopy screening is recommended starting at age 45 for those at average risk.

For diagnosed patients, a multidisciplinary medical team approach involving surgeons, oncologists, gastroenterologists and other specialists provides comprehensive management.

Prevention remains key. Delta Gastro emphasizes that everyone is at risk for colorectal cancer regardless of age or gender if you have a colon. Routine screening saves lives.

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