Colorectal cancer has been on the rise among young people since the 1990s

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Chadwick Boseman’s death at just 43 from colon cancer has led to a greater awareness of these type of cancers and the fact that they can be fatal for young people. Most people don’t get screening or colonoscopies until age 50, and there’s a movement for people to get screened earlier. The American Cancer society has lowered their age for recommended screening to 45, but that might not be young enough for people at higher risk. It definitely would not have caught Chadwick’s case. Katie Couric lost her husband, Jay Monahan, to colon cancer when he was just 42 and she’s been a proponent of early colonoscopies ever since.

The Today Show interviewed Dr. Kimmie Ng, the director of the Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. She said that rates of colon cancer among people under 50 have increased an alarming 51% since the 1990s. She said it’s unknown what’s causing it is but it’s thought to be environmental.

Colorectal cancer has been thought of a disease of older people. Since the 1990s we have been noticing a steady rise in the rate of people under the age
of 50 at about 2% per year. And it is happening in both men and women all around the country and all around the world. The reasons for this are not completely clear right now although we highly suspect that environmental factors are at play.

We have done a couple of studies that show that obesity and sedentary behavior may play a role in getting this cancer at a young age. But clearly that doesn’t account
For the majority of the patients that we see who are being diagnosed young.

Further research needs to be done to understand what are the underlying causes and can we know who is at higher risk and target them for earlier screening.

[From The Today Show video]

I think the thing that shocks so many of us about Chadwick’s passing is that he was so young and fit. That really brings it home that cancer, and this type of cancer, can strike anyone and that screening is key. I’ve had a couple of colonoscopies in my life but it’s been over 15 years since my last one and I’m going to schedule one. I absolutely hate the prep work but my son can drive now at least.

More studies are needed to see what predisposes younger people to colon cancer. At the end of the interview Dr. Ng said that young people typically get more aggressive chemotherapy, surgeries and radiation because they can tolerate it better. She said “chemotherapy is hard and there are side effects. The fact that he was able to make all these movies and be as productive as he was just illustrates that he wasn’t a superhero just on screen, he was one in real life as well.” I wish Chad didn’t have to shoulder this privately, but I understand why he did. He surely had a lot of support and love from his family as well.

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photos credit: WENN and Avalon.red

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83 Responses to “Colorectal cancer has been on the rise among young people since the 1990s”

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  1. AndaPanda says:

    A good friend of mine had colon cancer and it was so scary. She survived and is getting back to living life normally thankfully. She was also in her 40s when she was diagnosed, of normal weight and beautiful. I believe high meat consumption is linked to colon cancer. I know she was a huge meat lover but I don’t know if that is was caused her case.

    • Millennial says:

      Honestly, my husband and I were talking about this yesterday and I think it’s all the junk food a lot of us ate growing up… Don’t know that it was all that great for our colons.

      • bros says:

        Thanks @esmom
        The blood in stool was the last part of the symptoms that finally drove him to the dr but it had been going on for many months prior. If something good comes out of Chadwick’s early death, it will be increasing the awareness of this for young people. It has to result in something good coming out of it : increased screenings among young people with ANY symptoms. Many lives can be saved.

    • Jerusha says:

      A couple of decades ago I read that the countries with the highest incidence of colon cancer were USA , Brazil, and Scotland. They were also the countries with the highest beef and pork consumption. Whether there have been studies to prove or disprove a link, I don’t know.

      • Bros says:

        These lifestyle factors have actually not been correlated with colorectal cancer in young adults. My brother was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer last year at 32 years old. Through our searches for a medical team, we learned that they have not isolated any variables that are causally linked to the cancer and the ACA is on the verge of terming it an entirely new disease, something like early onset colorectal cancer. My brother had a very very active lifestyle, grew up around no pollution and had an extremely healthy diet. No risk factors except family history of polyps and some other uretogenital cancers such as prostate. He just finished his tumor removal surgery after 4 months of chemo and 5 weeks of daily radiation in the middle of the pandemic. It’s been brutal and on another thread I urged everyone to get their colonoscopies if they have ANY family history no matter what age you are because that tumor had been growing in him since his mid 20’s.

      • StartupSpouse says:

        @Bros, that is so scary. I am so sorry for you and your family. I will send some prayers through for your brother.

        Can I ask what the symptoms were for him? I’ve read about the rise in younger folks, but nothing about the symptoms and what would prompt someone to get a colonoscopy earlier than what is recommended.

      • Jerusha says:

        So very sorry about your brother. I can’t imagine what your family is feeling. I hope all the treatments work and he emerges cancer free.

      • Esmom says:

        Bros, thank you for sharing. So scary. Wishing your brother a clean bill of health. My husband skipped his first colonoscopy at 50 because he got busy at work and now four years later he just had a massive cancerous polyp removed. We are awaiting DNA test results to see if further treatment is warranted. I have two college age kids and the doc said they should come in at 40 for their first screening colonoscopies but now I’m thinking maybe they should go sooner. I have also had polyps and am on a 5-year plan instead of the usual 10.

      • bros says:

        @epsom I can’t stress enough that your kids should go early considering BOTH of you have polyps. As I said before, if he waited until 40 he would be dead, full stop. His symptoms were bloody stools and frequent stools, urgency, loose stools. sorry for the TMI but he of course thought it was IBS or colitis or Crohns and was not prepared for a large tumor with lymph node involvement. He is currently on an ostomy bag because his lower and upper intestines are separated while he heals from the surgery and he will have to have another surgery to reattach them and he has a long road after that to recover and relearn continence. his life is forever altered. get the colonoscopies and don’t chicken out and get that stool analysis. you need a camera in there. it’s not even that bad-you lose like 5 pounds of crap you didn’t want in your body to begin with and feel great after :)

      • Esmom says:

        Bros, thanks for your reply and not TMI at all. The blood in the stool seems to be the biggest red flag. I had terrible GI symptoms for decades and actually had a colonoscopy in my 20s that was clear. In my 30s I finally was treated for anxiety and I have not had any GI problems since, other than the polyps discovered when I went in for my age 50 screening.

        The stool analysis is what actually flagged my husband to go for the colonoscopy, not sure why the doc didn’t send him straight for it since he was over 50 and had skipped his original screening a few years ago. I just told him to talk to his doc and that we should have our boys get colonoscopies much sooner than 40. They are switching to new primary care docs this year so I will make sure they share this family history we seem to have bestowed on them.

        I agree the procedure is a piece of cake but I cannot stress how much I dread the prep. I gag just thinking about that liquid, lol. Cold or room temp, it’s equally heinous. But it is a small price to pay indeed.

        I’m glad your brother is on the road to recovery. I volunteer with a woman who had her colon removed 10 years ago and is living a full, lovely life including having two kids post recovery. Best to him and to you for being the supportive sister you are!

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Bros, thank you for sharing the details. It isn’t “TMI”, it is life saving information that might help someone that reads your comment. Thank you very much! :)

    • Veronica S. says:

      Red meat is more or less recognized as a carcinogen by the WHO at this point from what I understand. Eating it in large, continuous quantities puts anyone at higher risk for cancer and heart disease, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s a major factor for the rise. Unfortunate, as well, that America’s lack of universal health care means a lot of preventative care isn’t done until it’s too late.

    • Heat says:

      While I agree that poor eating habits most definitely contribute to colon/rectal/stomach cancers, genetics also play a huge role. Case in point: I had my first polyps removed at age three. At that age, I hadn’t exactly abused my body. :) And I’ve had to go for colonoscopies every 2-5 years since then.
      Now, I should add that, since I started a plant-based diet 6 years ago, my last two scopes have been clear. Before that, I would have at least two polyps removed.
      The prep is positively dreadful. The brand of the last prep I’ve taken was called Go-Lytely. I’ve sure the people who named it are still pi$$ing themselves, laughing about that one.

  2. Nikki* says:

    I’m very glad you’re scheduling your colonoscopy, Celebitchy. Readers, please do that yourself, asap, as soon as your insurance will cover it. I think insurance should start covering colonoscopies at age 35 or 40, to catch any polyps before they’re cancerous.

    • tealily says:

      I had a colonoscopy a couple of years ago (at maybe 36?) because I was having symptoms that they thought might be Crohn’s Disease and my insurance did NOT cover it. I had some pretty bad debt that affected my credit and delayed me from buying a house (which I still haven’t done because prices have gone up so much in that time). My results came back inconclusive and it made my wish I’d never gone in. Healthcare is so screwed up in this country.

      I’m not sharing this to discourage people from going in, though. Please go in. Now the debt’s taken care of, I appreciate the peace of mind it gave me. I’m just illustrating why we need healthcare reform and what a mess our real estate market is, I guess. Vote Blue, get colonoscopies.

      • bros says:

        If your results came back inconclusive, you didn’t get a response that should give you peace of mind. I hope you are still trying to get a diagnosis one way or another.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Insurance treats “screening” colonoscopies different from “diagnostic”. Screening is usually covered, and that applies if you hit the recommended age for screening. If you have a family history, they will usually cover your test 10 years before your family member discovered their polyp.

        A diagnostic test is done if you have symptoms. Usually the deductible/co-pay/co-ins. will apply to a diagnostic colonoscopy. I totally disagree with this kind of pricing, but knowing the information can help people.

        If you have family history, get your test BEFORE you develop symptoms if at all possible (for your health most importantly, but it helps save $$ too!).

        Also, many times the anesthesia isn’t covered, unless you are over a certain age or have difficulty breathing. It is for comfort only, but well worth the $200-$500 that can be charged.

      • tealily says:

        @bros Inconclusive meaning no evidence of cancer or Crohn’s, no physical explanation for my symptoms. IBS was the diagnosis after ruling out the others, but there is no visual diagnosis for IBS. My symptoms have subsided and I’m feeling better. I do understand your concern given your brother’s diagnosis, but this was just a little more detail than I had wanted to go into about my bowel issues on a public website.

  3. Darla says:

    Obesity is like smoking. When you’re a smoker no matter what you go to the doctor for they will say your condition is higher in smokers. I know this because I was a smoker through my 20′s and 30′s, and it nearly killed me to quit but that’s another story.

    I mean, obviously Chadwick was NOT sedentary or overweight by even a pound. The fact is they don’t know what’s causing this rise, so they will hit all their favs – obesity, sedentary lifestyle. Okay.

    • Jerusha says:

      Audrey Hepburn died from colon cancer. She was probably never over 110 in her whole life.

      • Sweepsie says:

        She died of abdominal cancer actually. The original point still stands though. Plenty of people are not overweight and get colon cancer.

    • Kate says:

      Proud of you for quitting!

    • Case says:

      My mom is just slightly overweight and her doctors blame every issue she has on it, even when she brings up that there are other factors she feels they are overlooking. It’s really embarrassing for her, of course, and feels lazy on their end. She knows she should lose weight, but it’s partially hard for her BECAUSE of some of the medications she’s on that cause weight gain, which they also conveinently dismiss.

    • Nikki* says:

      Didn’t Farrah Fawcett die of colon cancer? She was very athletic.

  4. Goldie says:

    My first thought when reading this was: Monsanto’s Roundup. It’s a weed killer that farmers started using in the 90′s. It’s said to be quite toxic, and there are currently several lawsuits from agricultural workers who had heavy exposure to it and have gotten cancer ( though not necessarily colon) It’s sprayed quite heavily on corn and soy crops, which are in most packaged food, as well as grains, fruits, and vegetables etc.
    I can’t say for sure if that’s what is causing the rise, but it’s definitely worth looking into.

  5. cassandra says:

    It’s awesome you posted this article!

    Totally anecdotal, but I work on a surgical floor in a hospital and it’s absolutely not uncommon to see patients with advanced colon cancer under 40. I’m definitely planning on screening as early as they’ll let me. Without screening, most patient’s don’t catch it until it is stage 3 or later.

    eta: My guess is the rise is due to diet. Our diets are very meat and processed food heavy compared to 100 years ago.

    • Bros says:

      Another problem is the recommendation to do the screening 10 years before a direct family member’s polyps or cancer was detected. In my brother’s case, that would have been 40 because they discovered polyps for the first time in my dad at his routine screening at 50. My brother would be dead if he waited that long and it was symptoms of his rectal cancer that drove him to his doctor, but he put it off too long thinking surely it must be something else like Crohns or something. My other brother and I all had colonoscopies at 34 and 38. He had polyps but I didn’t, and we both have to get them every 5 years now. We also don’t have the same dad, so there is obviously a huge genetic component. Insurance needs to start covering screening much sooner. My doctor prescribed it as a diagnostic rather than a preventative, so it was covered.

  6. Littlelune says:

    A very close friend died of colon cancer in February. She was 33, and had been diagnosed 2 years earlier, when her son was 18 months old. And my cousin’s wife was diagnosed at 35 and died a year later at 36, she also had a young son. In both cases there were genetic links to cancer, but nevertheless it was devastating.

  7. FHMom says:

    Reading these comments, I’m shocked that colon cancer is so deadly. I had thought it was a cancer with a high cure rate. Get those colonoscopies. Like everyone says the prep is the worst part. I still can’t believe Chadwick Boseman has passed.

    • raptor says:

      It has a high cure rate when it’s caught early with good screening, but it’s absolutely devastating if it isn’t caught early, and there are often no symptoms until it’s already advanced.

      Many younger people who ask for screening get brushed off, as the likelier culprit for any symptoms is hemorrhoids. I had to fight to get screening done when I was 32, and I did not have the actual colonoscopy until I was 33. I had a polyp that indicated I was at an increased risk for colon cancer, and going forward, I have to have colonoscopies every three years.

      I often wonder what would have happened if I’d waited until 45 or 50–would I have even made it that far?

      I know there’s a lot of desire to point to lifestyle, but I’m curious about whether that bears out. I don’t eat meat and haven’t since I was 18 (and I stopped eating red meat at 16). I consume almost twice as much fiber as is recommended in the US; I eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables every day. I’m thin and active. Many younger people who have high risk polyps or colorectal cancer have none of the risk factors that we see in older adults. And, of course, many older adults also have none of these risk factors. But it also seems unlikely that so many people would have just developed bad genetics over such a short period of time.

      • Kate says:

        Emphasizing the point that if you’re young, you aren’t seen as high risk. My cousin went to the doctor because of blood in his stool and was told it was likely hemorrhoids. A few months later he was planning a trip and his doctor just happened to ask if it had gotten better and when it hadn’t then ordered a screening. The screening showed that he had stage 4 colon cancer and he died at 31. It’s so hard not to wonder if things would have been different if they had screened him that first appointment. (And he had been vegetarian or vegan his whole life, was super active, no genetic predisposition to cancer, etc.)

    • Betsy says:

      It is if it’s caught early, but that’s the thing – most of the people talked about on this page have been young, including Boseman. Unless you’re symptomatic, you wouldn’t get screened young, so these people have advanced cases when they’re found.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes. And from what I have gathered, many people are embarrassed to talk about the symptoms. We need to reduce the stigma around that, too.

      • Betsy says:

        @Esmom – I always wonder (thought it’s none of my business) if people like Boseman were symptomatic early on and just ignored it because, hey, the human body does weird stuff sometimes or if they were asymptomatic. I don’t do this from a place of blaming them but from a sincere worry that I will miss signs or symptoms of something like this.

  8. Esmom says:

    Another thing I’ve been reading in response to the “get your colonoscopy” message is that it is simply too expensive for many people. I and my family are fortunate that we can get them affordably because we have good insurance. Too many people don’t. Yet another reason why our healthcare system needs major reform. I’m terrified for my kids aging out of our plan in just a few years.

  9. CatWomen says:

    Hi, yes I was diagnosed with stage 3 CC late 2014, stage 3 has a 70 survival rate after 5 years , at 57, so, one of the very fortunate ones, still here. My dad died from it and I had these symptoms, 1) blood bleeding after bathroom, 2) unexplained weight loss, 3) family history, so I kinda knew . Processed food, too high alcohol consumption were also factors. If you get checked early enough before it’s stage 4 very promising odds for survival. It took 2 rounds of chemo 24/7 full week, 4 weeks radiation and final week chemo, so it was 6 weeks of treatment, I’m so grateful I got off easy.

  10. Robyn says:

    My mom died of colon cancer in her 70s. I was having some bleeding issues that my doctor said were unrelated, but I was so scared after what happened to Mom, I convinced the doctor to let me get a colonscopy at 44. They found multiple polyps that were pre-cancerous, including one that was 2 cm. If I had waited until I was 50 I would have had colon cancer. As it is, I never will. I’ve had another clean colonoscopy since, and now I’m good for five years. It is the ONE cancer I will NEVER have to worry about getting, since colonoscopies don’t just catch this disease, they prevent it. It gives me tremendous peace of mind. Everyone, get on a schedule. It’s a horrible cancer but it can be prevented.

    • bros says:

      How terrible of your doctor to not order a diagnostic colonoscopy for you, knowing your family history. I hope you got a new doctor after that. Mine wasted no time ordering one for me at 38 and not putting it as a preventative. I am now also on a 5 year schedule.

  11. sealit says:

    I’ve had three friends diagnosed with colon cancer in our 40’s. My very dear childhood friend died at 43 from it. The other two are surviving, but one is coming to the end of his battle. It’s so weird to think of people my age with cancer. Two of them were the picture of health in our youth. We all grew up playing sports together. The one who is going to survive was the total partier in college, but he found it early. Get checked, get checked early and don’t take no for an answer.

  12. GreenQueen says:

    A week after my wedding and my 31st birthday they pulled a baseball-sized tumor out of my colon. My doctors blew me off for years. The week they found the cancer they even gaslighted me, with one doctor asking me if my blood-covered stool might be from freaky anal sex from my wedding week (which I told him did not happen). In fact what had happened was I was so sick of being bloated all the time that right before my wedding I got a colonic (colon hydrotherapy) which in turn likely disrupted the tumor and caused the surrounding tissue along the stalk to bleed. That was the biggest tumor that my doctor had ever snared. They don’t know what is causing this but they are seeing the same trend in Europe. They had my sister go in a month later and found 4 polyps in her, 2 were precancerous. They tested both of us and found it was NOT genetic. This is heartbreaking, insurance companies lowering the age to 45 would not have benefited people like me. I’d have died well before 40, according to the doctors, had it not been found when it was. Colonoscopies save lives, people like Chadwick didn’t have to die, if only they started screening earlier. I now do colonics the night before my colonoscopies instead of the standard prep and usually get great reviews about my prep.

  13. Celina says:

    Chadwick had such charisma. If there was some kind of revolution and he said: let’s go! I wouldn’t even think twice, I’d be right behind him. Such presence, such warmth. What a loss!

  14. Trillion says:

    I get regular ‘scopes because my mother died of colon cancer at 55 (died 8 weeks after her diagnosis). My GI doc told me that in younger people, it’s not lifestyle but genetic. My genetic tests came out great, but that’s nothing to rest on. About half the time, my ‘scopes include snaring polyps. It’s such a relief knowing that we’re watching this carefully because it IS highly detectable and treatable, compared to other cancers. The prep process has improved a lot over the years, so don’t let that be a deterrent. For me, the hardest part is coming out of anesthesia. But I’ve since learned to ask for propofol instead of the usual fentanyl/midazolam. You wake up feeling great – no wooziness or nausea.

    • Giddy says:

      I agree wholeheartedly about propofol. I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy last week and the propofol makes a huge difference. One minute I was chatting with the nurse, then literally what felt like the next minute she was offering me some water. I said no, I couldn’t have any until after my procedures, and she told me they were all done. That was great!

      But, what was greater was that they offered me a new type of prep. I thought anything had to be better than drinking all that awful stuff and having diarrhea all night so I jumped on it. The name of the new prep is Hygiea. The company here is named Hygiea-care. I can’t recommend highly enough. The day before I took Dulcolax two times. The day of I showed up and they took me into a lovely private room. Then reclining in a comfortable position on a specialized seat a nurse inserted a tube and I guess it was like an upper colonic. I swear it was comfortable, I read the whole time, and as soon as I was through I walked next door to have the colonoscopy. Ask your doctor about it! It took away all my dread about having these procedures.

    • Arpeggi says:

      Is there a reason why they recommend colonoscopy instead of regular fecal occult blood test (followed by a colonoscopy if blood was found)? Seems like it’d be much more comfortable to have that done regularly

      • vertes says:

        Fecal blood screening isn’t nearly precise enough. I’ve had at least 20 colonoscopies since age 41, sometimes 2-3 a year to check removal “sites.” NO fecal blood tests have ever come back positive. Besides the usual pre-cancerous polyps, I also get flat lesions with no stalk that grow on the lining, up to half-dollar sized. Those are very carefully shaved out but I have to be scoped every year. It’s normal for me to at least 3-4 new polyps every year. I get general anesthesia for the procedures & hate the preps but the alternative is often deadly.

    • JanetDR says:

      I’m very interested in your drug story because I have sworn never to do the fentanyl – miz-whatever combination again! My friends all talk about how relaxing it is but it makes me superhyper and I want to punch everyone who tells me I won’t remember the answer to my question (all of them say this and I could list names from the last time and I never remember names! ). I had my first colonoscopy in my 20s and was given a valium, and I doubt I even needed that. It’s not an uncomfortable procedure at all.

      • vertes says:

        Whether it’s comfortable depends on your personal anatomy. My first 3 were done with valium & versed. Valium gives me a brain-fogged hangover for about 3 weeks. They were painful enough to induce vomiting during the procedures. After his attempt at #4, that g.i. doc gave up, said my colon was too narrow & twisty, with sharp turns, & he couldn’t do it without high risk of perforation. Since then, it’s been gen’l anesthesia & a surgeon for me.

  15. Casey says:

    I could not believe it when I heard that he passed. Wakanda Forever!

    Last May, I was diagonsed with Serrated Polyposis Syndrome which is thought to be genetic. This polpy wasn’t seen as the traditional type of cancerous polyp and was mostly ignored. It is a flat, serrated polyp that sometimes gets confused as colon wall lining and it seems to be occur mostly in younger adults. I had to have a colonoscopy every 3 months until I was cleared of the polyps (over 50+) and I’m now on yearly scopes as these buggers will never bugger off.
    It’s really scary that so many doctors might have missed this type of polyp and gave people a clean bill of health. If you can, please get a colonoscopy!

  16. Nina Simone says:

    I’m confused what does environmental factors have to do with a colon tumor?

    And I should say- my family is Nigerian and in Northern Nigeria , beef eating is a huge part of the culture. Like waiting beef for breakfast, lunch etc. And colon cancer is very rampant there. I believe there is a correlation with meat eating and the cancer.

    • bros says:

      My comment about environmental factors was just another variable that they are looking at as potentially contributing to the increased incidence of CC-environmental pollutants, diet, sedentary lifestyle, etc. What we learned from Memorial Sloane Kettering in NYC is that none of these things has been conclusively linked with early/young onset colon cancer and that the american cancer society is in the process of recommending/terming it an entirely NEW type of cancer-ie it is not JUST colorectal cancer-it would be a different diagnosis altogether when found in young people. And the treatments are a little different as far as we can tell. We had major genetic testing on my brother and he has NONE of the syndromes associated with early cancers and if anyone is interested in contributing to science, they are running a massive stool analysis to compare the intestinal biomes of healthy people vs young people with CC.

  17. KG says:

    A truly beautiful soul, inside and out.

  18. Venus says:

    These comments are eye-opening. My impression was there’s a link between anal sex/HPV and colon cancer. Does anyone know if that’s a factor?

    • raptor says:

      There’s a link between anal sex/HPV and anal cancer, which is different from colon cancer. There’s no known link between HPV and colon cancer.

      • bros says:

        Raptor is correct.

      • Arpeggi says:

        Yup!

        It’s why every kid should get vaccinated against HPV regardless of their gender. In Canada, HPV-related cancers should be eradicated by 2030 thanks to vaccination campaigns

      • raptor says:

        Arpeggi, Gardasil is such a miracle, truly. I hate that there’s so much pushback in the US, because it’s such an easy preventative measure to take, and it protects against so many horrific and painful treatments and deaths.

    • Venus says:

      Interesting! Thanks for clarifying that. I hadn’t really realized anal and colon cancer are different things.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I think a lot of the stigma about this kind of cancer comes from ideas like these, that if you get cancer in this area it is because you did “naughty” things. (Not that I am saying you are doing it, but I think that mind set has impacted the “conventional wisdom” on this topic).

      After Farah Fawcett got anal cancer, a (inappropriate) co-worker said that she probably got it from “butt sex”, and I was horrified that he’d slut shame her in her death.

      I think diet and weight are shown to be more of a risk factor.

  19. Caitrin says:

    I have a friend who is younger than me (so, late 30′s) who is battling stage IV colon cancer right now.

    Chadwick Boseman’s death was a gut punch for her.

  20. nicegirl says:

    I hate you Colon cancer

  21. Lunasf17 says:

    A friend of mine’s husband was just diagnosed and he is just in his mid 30s I believe. Part of it is probably our shit US healthcare system and people literally not able to afford a doctor visit and screening. But diet has to play a role in some cases IMO. My generation (millennial) was raised on processed junk, soda and fast food. So many people my age (33) and younger don’t cook at all or eat fresh fruits and vegetables. I also think the large amount of processed meat (with nitrates) affects people too and booze. Our bodies were just not designed to eat like many westerners do these days.

  22. Arpeggi says:

    I get that colonoscopies are cumbersome, but a simple fecal occult blood test would already be a good first step to see if further investigation is needed. It can be done at home (you ship the sample for analysis), doesn’t require much prep and it’s fairly cheap. I don’t understand why it’s not done & suggested more often.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      From what I hear, it is because they aren’t that accurate.

      • Esmom says:

        That’s a bummer because it does seem like it’s a good first step. It was a positive fecal occult test that prompted my husband to get a colonoscopy, which he had blown off when he was 50. A cancerous polyp was removed. I feel like if colonoscopies aren’t yet widely available to people, the fecal occult test is better than nothing?

      • vertes says:

        Right! Relying on fecal samples is like wearing your covid-19 protective mask around your mouth only – not much good. See my post above, somewhere in # 14.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I’m so glad it worked out in your husband’s case, Esmom! I do worry for the people that get a “negative” from those tests and are provided false comfort, when they really actually need to get a colonoscopy.

      • Arpeggi says:

        The way I see it, it’s sort of like regular breast self exams vs mammogram: ok, the self exam isn’t that accurate, but if performed regularly, it can help realize that something is wrong and then go for something more accurate. Lots of people will refuse going for a colonoscopy especially if they don’t have a family history of cancer/polyps, but they might be more opened to a occult blood test every year esp since it’s cheap and non-invasive

  23. Barbiem says:

    Aunt died at 31
    Uncle died at 25
    (My dad brother and sis)
    Have over 20 other relatives dead from colon and stomach cancer on paternal side. Cousins, uncles, aunts, great so and so’.. 20′s to the 70′s.
    Colon cancer is BRUTAL in my family for any age. I started getting screened at 30.

  24. Stacey says:

    Sorry, but Audrey died of a rare form of abdominal cancer. As per the Wiki article: “…in early November revealed a rare form of abdominal cancer belonging to a group of cancers known as pseudomyxoma peritonei. Having grown slowly over several years, the cancer had metastasised as a thin coating over her small intestine.”

  25. Miss Melissa says:

    Glyphosate is in much of our food and the colon digests it.

    Gotta think it is something like that.

  26. MsIam says:

    Well, I am ashamed to admit it but I am two years overdue for mine but after this happening to Chadwick I am scheduling a colonoscopy right away. My mom died of cc at age 62 and I turned 60 this year. Seeing her suffer was the most terrible thing ever. I have had three so far with no polyps yet but I know I can’t let up. This disease is insidious.

  27. Lauren says:

    Prep is the worst part. If you have symptoms, ask your doctor to get a colonoscopy!

  28. Squirrely Wrath says:

    The process of getting it done is just so annoying. Worth getting that small bottle of cranberry flavored yuck juice to not have to drink the large crap. I wish people had been kinder to Chadwick when people saw him so gaunt, instead of making fun of him. A lot of them are the same ones acting all sad now that he’s gone. He was truly a precious human being and a fighter.

    • Betsy says:

      People were mocking him for being thin?

      • Squirrely Wrath says:

        Sadly, yes. They were calling him “crack panther ” and other terrible slurs. It’s sad that empathy isn’t a go to setting for most people because it was clear something was going on.

  29. Busyann says:

    I read an article recently that said they believe it is genetic in younger people, but there could also be an environmental concern. Apparently the rise is mostly in younger people from western states.

  30. Leslie says:

    My mom passed away from colon cancer in ‘09 at 61. I’m still not over it.

    • Ocean Girl says:

      @Leslie, my condolences. It is a difficult thing to go through, especially when you should have had many more years with your Mom.

  31. Clarice says:

    I’m so glad this was posted. I had been having blood in my stool off and on for several years. I brought it up to my primary care doctor later than I probably should have and she sent me home with the “at home” stool test kit, which ended up coming back clear. It continued for a couple more years when (this past February) she had me see a GI doctor who recommended I have a sigmoidoscopy. It was fine, very quick and I stayed away for it. It came back clear, which I was relieved about but should probably still be pressing for more answers and I do have more follow up to do with a colorectal surgeon. Anyway, I should have asked for an itemized bill because I bet they charged me for the anesthesia as well as the $200 pregnancy test that I didn’t even take since I wasn’t being sedated. I had to pay $1,000 out of pocket and I supposedly have a “good” BCBS insurance policy. I just finished paying it off last month. I can’t afford to do that every year.

  32. herhighness says:

    I find it very irresponsible to keep blaming everything on obesity!!!”We have done a couple of studies that show that obesity and sedentary behavior may play a role in getting this cancer at a young age. But clearly that doesn’t account
    For the majority of the patients that we see who are being diagnosed young.”

    then why mention obesity1? this is why implicit medical basis will continue & it hits us black women the hardest. smdh