According to a recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the number of 35 to 50-year-olds who are diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer is sharply rising.
And those numbers are also being seen right here in Naperville.
“20 percent of people that get colon cancer are going to be in that younger age group, so it’s still a minority, but the percentage of that case has been increasing, and that’s been noted the last ten years now and these numbers are really holding up and unfortunately it looks like a real trend,” said System Medical Director for Oncology Services at Edward-Elmhurst Health, Dr. Alex Hantel.
While doctors aren’t sure what’s causing the spike among the age group, colon and rectal cancer can be related to diet and lifestyle issues.
“So we do know in other people that colon cancer is really related to lifestyle, so honestly if you eat less meat, if you eat a healthier diet, control your calories, exercise, those are things that are probably the best precautions,” added Dr. Hantel.
Dr. Hantel says to not be alarmed by the statistics but to listen to your body. If you have symptoms of weight loss, abdominal pain or cramping, visit your doctor.
Typically there are around 40,000 cases of colorectal cancer a year in the United States.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.