The changing face of colorectal cancer: 20- and 30-somethings NOT immune (VIDEO)

By:  Melissa Schenkman

Young adults may not fall into the age category recommended for colorectal cancer screenings by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), but they are not too young to get colorectal cancer.

Researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston found that colorectal cancer cases have increased each year in 20-34 year olds over the past 35 years. The study in JAMA Surgery’s January 2015 issue, predicted a continual and even greater rise in young adults with colorectal cancer through 2030.

While the USPSTF still recommends age 50 for a first colonoscopy, every patient presents differently. Given such recommendations and the perception of invincibility when it comes to health, the path to colorectal healthcare for young adults is not a clear-cut one.

A gastroenterologist, the USPSTF and a young adult who experienced colorectal cancer first-hand, all weigh in to provide young adults perspectives from which to think about colorectal cancer and screening tests.