The American Cancer Society has set new guidelines for when men should be screened for colon and rectal cancer.
Previously, it was believed that men should begin getting screened as early as 50 years old.
Now, however, that age has dropped to 40 years old because there has been such a dramatic rise in the number of young people who develop cancer.
Between the years 1970 and 2004, the number of fatalities caused by colon and rectal cancer declined.
However, between the years 2004 and 2014, that number has increased annually by 1% among 20 to 54 year olds.
The ethnicities that are at a high risk of developing the cancer include
- Alaska Natives
- African Americans
Although it is currently being recommended that screening begins as early as age 40, people should be screened even sooner if they have either a family history or a personal history of rectal or colon polyps.
The great thing is that testing doesn’t have to be invasive. With six screening options available, patients can choose which tests they take.
However, although the American Cancer Society has changed its guidelines and lowered its recommended cancer screening age to 40, other organizations still feel that the minimum recommended age for testing should be 50.
The US Preventive Services Task Force is one of the organizations that believe testing should be done at a later age.
The scary fact remains, however, that colon and rectal cancers are the third most common cause of cancer-related fatalities in the entire world.
In America, colon and rectal cancers are the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths.
These types of cancers affect both men and women.
Dr. Richard Wender of the American Cancer Society says that people born today are four times more likely to develop rectal cancer and two times more likely to develop colon cancer than people of the same age who were born in the 50’s.