Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths here in America. When you hear the term colon cancer, you probably think that it’s a condition that mainly affects older white males in poor health, but that’s a dangerous misconception. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at who is at risk for colon cancer, and what you can do to minimize your risk.
Colon Cancer Risk
The fact of the matter is that colon cancer can affect people of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities. Even people who appear to be a pillar of health can be felled by colon cancer. Below, we take a closer look at some of the at-risk demographics for developing colon cancer.
- Young Adults – While age is a factor in colon cancer onset, it’s not just older individuals who are being diagnosed with the condition. One projection suggests that by the year 2030, colon cancer rates will be up 90 percent in people between the ages of 20 and 34, and 28 percent for people between 35 and 49. Now some of that will be due to increased testing and a better understanding of the early warning signs, but at the same time, it shows that younger people aren’t immune to colon cancer.
- Women – You may be surprised to learn that colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death among American women. This is especially problematic because colon cancer is often a condition that is viewed as only affecting older males. Women oftentimes catch their condition in a later stage because they don’t even consider colon cancer a possibility. One in 21 men will develop colon cancer, but the fact of the matter is that one in 23 women can expect the same, and most people aren’t aware the ratio is that close.
- African Americans – As we talked about in this blog, African Americans are at a heightened risk for colon cancer development. Black males are more than 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer than white males, and mortality rates are even more disproportionate. African Americans are just one ethnic group that are at a heightened risk for colon cancer development, so learn about your family history and make sure you’re getting regular screenings.
- The Unscreened – While the unscreened may not be at a higher risk for colon cancer, because screenings can’t prevent the condition in and of itself, the unscreened are certainly at a higher risk for having more problems associated with the condition. Like any cancer, treatment is more likely to be successful and the patient is more likely to enter remission when the condition is treated during an earlier stage. Don’t just assume that you’re fine as long as you don’t get tested. It’s better to identify the problem early and begin treatment than to stick your head in the sand and have to fight a harder battle later. Get your regular colon cancer screening beginning by age 45.
So if you want to help reduce your risk of having serious complications associated with colon cancer, or you just want to ensure you have a clean bill of health, reach out to Dr. Bhatti and his team today to schedule a colonoscopy. March is Colon Cancer Awareness month, so there is no better time to put your colon cancer health at the forefront. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, give Dr. Bhatti’s clinic a call today at (952) 368-3800.