Having these signs could mean you have colon cancer: study
A new study showed how to look for colon cancer, which is becoming more common in young adults who are not old enough to get colonoscopies.
The most important signs were diarrhea, stomach pain, blood from the rectal area, and a lack of iron.
Most of the time, the first sign of colon cancer is bleeding in the rectal area, which most people don’t talk about.
“It can be hard or embarrassing to talk about,” said Dr. Matthew Kalady, who is in charge of colon and rectal treatment at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. But the truth is that everyone goes through something similar, and it’s important to know what’s normal and what isn’t.
The study was written up in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. It came from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
The goal of the study was to find the early signs of colon cancer, which is usually not found until it has gotten worse.
The American Cancer Society says that the number of people under 55 who get colon cancer has doubled from 11% in 1995 to 20% in 2019.
The research showed that the people who took part in the study had these signs before they were told they had colon cancer.
Experts said that people shouldn’t get a colonoscopy until they are 45 or older. This means that people may have signs for a long time before they go to the doctor or are told they have colon cancer.
An author of the study, Dr. Cassandra Fritz, said, “As patients, we kind of brush these things off.”
Fritz, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine in the division of GI, said that you should still be worried about these symptoms. Go see a doctor to find out what’s going on.”
Yin Cao, who was also an author of the study, said that it shows a scary problem for young people and the doctors who care for them.
“We are sending a very clear message that young adults need to be aware of these symptoms,” said Cao, who is also an associate professor of surgery in the public health sciences division at Washington University School of Medicine.
Experts worry that people will ignore the signs or give the wrong diagnosis.
Cao said in a statement, “Today, many early-onset cases of colorectal cancer are found in emergency rooms, and there are often long delays in diagnosing this cancer.”
“I tell my patients that if they have diarrhea that goes away quickly, they probably don’t need to worry. But if it lasts for weeks or a month, you might want to talk to your primary care doctor about it,” said Fritz.