According to a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, there’s been a steady rise in the incidents of colon and rectal cancers among younger people—even as those numbers have been dropping among older people.
Researchers have found that people born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer compared to those born in 1950. It has not been stated why this happens, but there is a possibility that stress, diet, or other behavioral patterns of the younger folks are very much to blame.
Medical professionals say that colon cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer, so if you notice any of these symptoms, please do not hesitate to have a check up done:
1. You see dark blood in your bowel movements
A speck of bright red blood on your tissue when you wipe is probably a small hemorrhoid or harmless fissure, but if there are large amounts, or you see maroon or black-tinged blood, call your doctor. This is a sign that there’s bleeding further up in the colon.
2. Pooping is actually difficult
Everyone gets constipated occasionally, but prolonged problems with pooping can indicate a blockage in the colon. That’s because at the beginning of the colon, your poop is soft and can maneuver around any obstacles in the way. As it progresses to the end of the colon, it gets firmer. If there’s a tumor at the end of the rectum, this harder poop will have a hard time getting by, says Lisa Ganjhu, Clinical Associate Professor, division of gastroenterology and liver diseases, NYU Langone Medical Center. Diarrhea that lasts more than a few days should also set off warning bells.
3. You’ve got crazy cramping
Out-of-nowhere gut spasms in the lower stomach can just be gas…or something more serious. If the pains are unfamiliar and painful, or you feel like you need to poop but can’t, you should have your doctor check you out as this could be a sign of colon cancer
4. Your poop is pencil thin
If there’s something blocking your colon, your stool is forced into a narrow, ribbon-like shape. Seek a medical attention ASAP if you experience this. It could be as a result of another cause, but it’s always best to be on the safe side.