Colorectal cancer is on the rise in younger adults and has been for years. That’s why AdventHealth physicians in our Young Onset Colorectal program are encouraging people younger than age 45, even twenty-somethings, to talk to their provider about any suspicious symptoms, including constipation, rectal bleeding or any sudden changes in bowel movements.
Cancer Diagnoses Continue to Get Younger
Doctors report seeing young patients with colorectal cancer diagnoses more and more often. The American Cancer Society (ACS) reported that 20% of diagnoses in 2019 were in patients under age 55, which is about double the rate in 1995, and rates of advanced disease increased by about 3% annually in people younger than 50. It predicted that, in 2023, an estimated 19,550 diagnoses and 3,750 deaths would be in people younger than 50.
In 2021, both the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the U.S. Multisociety Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, two groups that provide preventive guidelines, recommended that most Americans be screened for colorectal cancer at age 45, which is five years earlier than previously recommended, and that they continue with periodic screenings until age 75.
“We are seeing a clear uptick in colorectal cancer in younger patients, including Millennials and Generation Z,” says Mohamedtaki Tejani, MD, an award-winning physician who specializes in gastrointestinal hematology and oncology.
Dr. Tejani continues, “At the same time, while colorectal cancer is still mostly diagnosed in patients over age 65, the incidence in that group is decreasing. Older people are now less likely than people younger than 50 to be diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer disease.”
AdventHealth’s Young Onset Colorectal Program
Our Young Onset Colorectal program is dedicated to treating and managing colorectal cancer in those under age 45. Our personalized care approach helps patients and their families to manage the impact of colorectal cancer and its treatment on their lives.
The program is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC), and our multidisciplinary team of care providers includes:
- Medical oncology
- Radiation oncology
- Weekly multi-disciplinary tumor conference
We also offer patients access to AdventHealth clinical trials, as well as the following support services and therapies tailored to the needs of our younger patients and their families:
- Child life services
- Fertility (for those who may be affected by cancer treatments)
- Genetic counseling and testing
- Massage therapy
- Music therapy
- Nurse Navigators
- Social worker: GI and caregiver support groups, counseling services
- Sexual therapists
A Cancer-Care Community You Can Count On
Are you or someone you know impacted by colorectal cancer? Remember that community can be so healing for any cancer patient. And our Young Onset Colorectal program at AdventHealth will stay with you and your family every step of your journey to recovery.
Learn more about how we can support your healing in body, mind and spirit here.
You can also reach out to our gastrointestinal Nurse Navigators, Erica Corcoran MSN, RN, OCN, AOCNS, and Wyntir Purtha, Nurse Navigator, at Call407-303-5981.