Colon cancer cases rising among young adults - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Colon cancer cases rising among young adults

The rate of colon cancer among young adults is on the rise. The rate of colon cancer among young adults is on the rise.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - New research shows the cases of colon cancer among those aged 20 to 34 is on the rise.

Researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that the overall incidence of colon and rectal cancer has decreased since 1998.

However, the number of incidence rates are expected to double for those age 20 to 34 over the 15 years, even though screening for the disease is not recommended until you are above the age of 50.

According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 50,000 people will die from colon and rectal cancer.

Three years ago, Thomas Cook was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 19.

He said just a few weeks after his birthday he started showing symptoms of fatigue, digestive issues and he wasn't eating much.

That's when he found out that the polyps on his colon were actually cancerous.

He said it was an eye opening experience.

"It changed my philosophy on how I should go about doing everything in my life or how I look at the world today," Cook said. "So at 19, in a way, it was a turning point in my own life in terms of maturing into a man."

He hopes more people realize that their bodies aren't invincible.

"Your body is a machine," Cook said. "As much as we like to hail it as some great creation, which it is, it's still a machine. It needs to be checked up on. You need to have people look at it from time to time."

Symptoms of colon cancer can include: fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, change in bowel habits, narrow stools, diarrhea or constipation, red or dark blood in stool, weight loss, abdominal pain, cramps, or bloating.

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