Colorectal cancer on the rise in young adults

ETX doctor works to increase awareness of colorectal cancer screenings

VIDEO: Colorectal cancer on the rise in young adults

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A shocking study from the American Cancer Society.

It says one in 22 men and one in 24 women will get Colon Cancer.

That’s why the American Cancer Society wants people to start getting colonoscopies at a younger age.

“Nobody’s immune from this. Does not matter if you are a physician, or if you’ve done everything right. Unfortunately, in 50% of cancers it’s just bad luck,” explains Dr. Andrei Gasic, Gastroenterologist, UT Health East Texas.

Dr. Gasic says for years, 50 has been the magic age for adults to have their first colonoscopy.

“Every year we’re seeing 2% increase of younger than age 50′s developing Colorectal Cancer,” adds Dr. Gasic.

Recently, the American Cancer Society has lowered the recommended age to 45. “If you have a family member who’s a first degree relative: a parent, sibling, offspring, that has had Colorectal Cancer before the age of 60, take it seriously,” says Dr. Gasic.

The reason for the change, is due to doctors finding the cancer at a much younger age.

“I’ve seen many patients certainly under the age of 45 and even under the age of 30,” adds Dr. Gasic.

For most young adults like Dr. Evans Smith, heading to a cancer center isn’t something he thought about much, especially Colorectal Cancer.

“I noticed blood in my stools that I couldn’t control and knew that I had a problem,” explains Dr. Evans Smith.

Dr. Smith was just 49 years old when he started to notice symptoms that led to a colonoscopy.

“Unfortunately gave me the news that I had Rectal Cancer and from that point on my life kind of turned upside down, “says Dr. Smith.

Medical experts want to let everyone know, that this is not a death sentence.

“Primary prevention of Colorectal Cancer screenings is vital. It will lower the risk of dying from Colorectal Cancer,” says Dr. Gasic.

Doctors say there are not usually symptoms for colon cancer, and that’s why it’s important to get checked out.

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