You’re Never Too Young to be at High Risk for Colon Cancer



A recent partnership between the Colon Cancer Alliance, Bowel Cancer UK and the Colon Cancer Prevention Project was created to launch the Never Too Young campaign to warn people about the rise in colon cancer diagnoses and mortality rates in people younger than 50 years old; it is typically referred to as young-onset. Colon cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer death in the world and the 2nd leading cause in the U.S.  Young-onset has been causing great concern because it takes much longer to diagnose and typically appears at an advanced stage that can be fatal. The American Cancer Society reiterated this rise in young-onset by stating more than 10 per 100,000 adults between the ages of 20 to 49 were afflicted with the disease in 2007, which is up from more than 8 per 100,000 in 1992.

Individuals whose families have a history of colon cancer should see a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy. It is recommended people who are high risk should get a colonoscopy when they are 40. The procedure is quick – only 15-20 minutes – and is painless. Prior to the procedure intravenous medication – Propofol – is administered to ensure the patients falls and stays asleep throughout the entire procedure. A colonoscopy will allow a physician to diagnose and remove polyps in the colon, which can lead to colon cancer if not removed.

To make an appointment for a colonoscopy, contact San Francisco Gastroenterology.

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