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Home / Health / Study shows that rectal and rectal cancers are missed in younger adults

Study shows that rectal and rectal cancers are missed in younger adults

"I spent the next few months going to the doctor to get a diagnosis, and I probably saw six different doctors in the first four months," the newcomer said. "They could not find anything wrong with me, though I emphasized that I had a family history of colon cancer, they thought I was just too young for that."

In the following months, Newcomer said, she developed a persistent cough and underwent chest x-rays. The radiograph revealed lesions in her lungs and chest.

After the tumors in the chest and lungs had been biopsied and analyzed, the doctors confirmed what Newcomer had always suspected.

"Eleven months after I first complained about symptoms, I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer." Newcomer said. At that time she was 35 years old.

Newcomer's initial misdiagnosis shows a growing problem in younger colorectal cancer patients, according to a study to be presented at the annual American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting in Atlanta on Tuesday.

"It is overlooked population because they are younger"

The study surveyed 1

,195 colorectal cancer patients and survivors aged 20 to 49 years, mainly from the United States. Newcomer was one of them.

The study found that the majority of respondents (57%) were diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 49; one third was diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 39; About 10% were diagnosed before the age of 30.

Although most colorectal cancer patients older than 50 years of age were diagnosed in the early stages of the disease, the new studies showed that most younger patients and survivors in the study, 71%, were reported in the study diagnosed advanced stages of 3 and 4.

This finding suggests that without screening and awareness of the possibility of colorectal cancer at this age, the signs of their cancer could have been lost in the early stages.

The survey results also showed that most patients and survivors, 63%, three to twelve months before their visit to the doctor, were waiting for symptoms because they did not recognize their symptoms as being cancer related.

In addition, 67% of respondents said they had seen at least two doctors before they were properly diagnosed with colon cancer, which includes both colon and rectal cancer.

"It's an overlooked population because it's younger and usually tends to be healthy," Dr. Ronit Yarden, principal author of research and director of medical affairs at the non-profit organization Colorectal Cancer Alliance, a patient advocate in Washington.

"It's very important for people to know the symptoms," she said.

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The research included that the responses to the survey itself were reported, and further research is needed to to determine whether similar outcomes would occur in a larger group of patients compared to older patients.

"In younger people, it's still a rarity for them to get colon cancer," said Dr. Paul Oberstein, a medical oncologist and director of the Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology Program at NYL's Perlmutter Cancer Center in New York, who did not attend

"But it does happen, and I think for people who have signs of constipation, rectal bleeding, or having trouble going to the bathroom, they should be looked at for cancer, among other things," he said.

Colon Cancer Symptoms and Screening Guidelines [194590] 07]

The symptoms of colon cancer include diarrhea or constipation, the feeling that your bowel is not completely empty, blood in your stool frequent gas pains or cramps, weight loss without fatigue and nausea or vomiting.

The American Cancer Society has its guidelines on colorectal cancer screening in the last year revised to recommend that adults are examined at average risk from the age of 45 50 years ago, as previously recommended. Screening options can range from an annually high-sensitivity fecal test to colonoscopy every 10 years.

  Colon and rectal cancer screenings should begin at 45, new guidelines say

Zu those at higher risk include African American, Alaska aborigines, and those with a family or personality history of colon or rectal polyps. Such risk factors may require screening at an earlier age.

"What is really important is that people who suffer from colorectal cancer in the family – a first-degree relative who had colon cancer at any age – should get that person at the age of 40 or 10 years before the family member's diagnosis screened, "said Oberstein, who was not involved in the guidelines.

"So if your dad had it at 45, you should be screened at 35," she said.

The updated guidelines published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians indicated that adults with an average risk of good health and a life expectancy of more than 10 years continue screening for colorectal cancer up to the age of 75 years should.
Colon cancer, according to the World Health Organization, is the world's third leading cause of cancer-related deaths.
In the United States, colon cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths, affecting both men and women centers for disease control and prevention.

Previous studies have shown that the number of deaths from colorectal cancer in adults under the age of 55 increases in the United States.

An "Upward Trend" of Colon Cancer in Younger Adults

After a decline from 1970 to 2004, the mortality rate of colorectal cancer and rectal cancer among 20- to 54-year-olds in the United States rose, according to one study by 2017 in the medical journal JAMA by 1% per year.

As far as newcomers are concerned, they showed no signs of disease by 2012 and have been a cancer survivor ever since, but she said their story could help raise awareness that colorectal cancer can be easily overlooked in younger adults.

"I still have long-term effects, so it's hard for me to walk. I have a hard time with neuropathy and hands. I have no sexual function due to radiation and chemotherapy treatments," said the 45-year-old Newcomer, who lives in Arizona and operates the program "Never Too Young" at the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.

"It's so important to get this information to other patients and survivors," she said. "The bigger problem is how do we enlighten young people and health professionals about the increase in early-stage colon cancer?"

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While colorectal cancer is more common after the age of 50, "we see an increase in younger people diagnosed with colon cancer," Nilofer Azad said , Associate Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore and a member of the AACR Stand-up 2 Cancer Intestinal Cancer Dream Team, who was not involved in the new research.
In particular colon cancer incidence According to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, quotas have risen by 1% to 2.4% in adults between the ages of 20 and 39 since the mid-1980s and by 0 in adults between 40 and 54 years , 5% to 1.3% in 2017.

Although these incidence rates are still low in younger adults, the study found that a person born around 1990 would now be twice as likely to have colorectal cancer and the risk of having rectal cancer in the same Age quadrupled as if he were born around 1950. [19659002]

"It's always good to be an advocate for yourself"

Anecdotally, Azad said she had more colon cancer patients under 50 – even in her 20s and 30s – seen the last years, while that was very unusual before.

"But these are not real data, it's an experience of a doctor, and I work in a larger center where people are looking for second and third opinions," Azad said.

When younger adults develop colorectal cancer symptoms, a doctor may refer that patient to other doctors for different opinions.

"If you are worried about something and your doctor is not worried but your symptoms persist, it is always reasonable to seek a second opinion." It is always good to be an advocate for yourself, "Azad said

"If you have symptoms consistent with the diagnosis of colon cancer, you should be evaluated in the same way as a person would rate them if they were 30 years older," she said. The standard should be to rule out serious conditions, including cancer, rather than assume that something is not cancerous or benign.

Denise Powell of CNN contributed to this report.

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