The good news is that several studies have shown that the rate of colo-rectal cancer (CRC) is falling among baby boomers and older seniors (yes, baby boomers, you are seniors, too, whether you like it or not).
The bad news is that according to several international studies, the rate of CRC rates are up sharply among people under the age of 50, even among millenials.
Well, as with nearly all cancers, no one knows for sure but two reasons quickly jump out: the sky-rocketing rate of obesity among young people all over the world, as well as the corresponding dramatic fall-off in exercise levels.
And to underline that dire message, one recent study concluded that ” prolonged sedentary TV viewing time, a surrogate for a more inactive lifestyle, (is) associated with increased risk of young-onset CRC, particularly of the rectum”, while a second study found that 6 obesity-linked cancers (CRC, cancer of the pancreas, gallbladder, kidney, uterus, and multiple myeloma) have risen over the last 2 decades among young people, even millenials (although interestingly, the study also found that other obesity-related cancers such as cancer of the esophagus and breast cancer have not).
Bottom line: Cancer is not just a disease of aging, so no matter your age, never ignore symptoms that might be those from a malignancy, and do everything you can tro prevent the cancers we know we can prevent.
End of lecture.