⦁ Recently Chadwick Boseman’s dead from colon cancer at age 43.
Doesn’t colon cancer mostly affect older people?
⦁ Although the majority of cases are found in older people, there has been an increase in cases in younger people in recent years.
⦁ Among people over 65, rates of colorectal cancer, which includes tumours in the rectum or the colon, have actually been declining, probably because of more regular screening.
⦁ Nonetheless, it is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States for men and women combined, and cases have been rising by about 2% annually in recent years in people under 50, according to a recent report by the American Cancer Society.
⦁ Experts aren’t sure exactly why.
⦁ For some patients, obesity, diabetes, smoking or a family history of cancer may play a role, but not all people who develop colorectal cancer have these risk factors.
Are there racial disparities in the risk of colon cancer?
⦁ Yes. According to the recent American Cancer Society report, rates of colorectal cancer are higher among Black people.
⦁ From 2012 to 2016, the rate of new cases in non-Hispanic Black people was 45.7 per 100,000, about 20% higher than the rate among non-Hispanic whites and 50% higher than the rate among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
⦁ Alaska Natives had the highest rate: 89 per 100,000.
What symptoms should prompt someone to see a doctor for possible colon cancer?
⦁ Common symptoms include bloody stool or bleeding from the rectum.
⦁ Other symptoms can include constipation or diarrhea, a change in bowel habits, dark sticky feces, a feeling of anemia, abdominal pain or cramps, nausea, vomiting or unexplained weight loss.