According to a new report written by researchers at the American Cancer Society (ACS), colorectal cancer rates in individuals under the age of 50 have grown by a whopping 50% since the mid-nineties. While most people in this age group may believe they are too young to receive a cancer diagnosis, this new data proves otherwise. In fact, researchers estimate that approximately 20,000 people under 50-years-old will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year and that 3,750 will die from the disease.
Colorectal cancer is a cancer of the colon or rectum, which sometimes begins as noncancerous polyps (or abnormal growths). Because polyps, which are also known as adenomas, can turn into cancer over time, screening tests are useful in identifying them so that a medical professional can remove them before they become a problem. Although it is the third most common cancer, colorectal cancer is the second-most deadly cancer in the United States – and it is not only deadly among members of the younger age group.
The ACS’ report estimates that more than 52,000 Americans of all ages will die from CRC, or colorectal cancer, in 2023. In addition to CRC-related fatalities, more than 152,000 individuals will be newly diagnosed with the disease. The ACS’ report also details how more than half of all cases and deaths are attributable to modifiable risk factors, like smoking, high alcohol consumption, poor diet, physical inactivity, and excess body weight. Other risk factors for colorectal cancer include:
Although colorectal cancer does not always cause symptoms, particularly when it is in an early stage, possible symptoms for the disease to watch out for include:
Numerous conditions other than colorectal cancer can cause the symptoms above. But if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is still a good idea to make an appointment with a medical professional to determine the best course of action.
This is not the first time that cancer researchers have taken notice of the growing colorectal rates in younger Americans. Just a bit over five years ago, for example, the ACS opted to create new colorectal cancer screening guidelines for that very reason. In 2018, the society began recommending that colorectal cancer screening start at the age of 45-years-old instead of 50. According to the ACS, the reason for its new guidelines was largely in part due to the growing incidence rate of non- and pre-cancerous polyps, which can turn into cancerous growths over time.
In addition to the risk factors that we discussed earlier, there are other red flags to look out for, particularly regarding adenomas. They are:
Other important takeaways from the American Cancer Society’s current guidelines include:
Medical malpractice occurs when a provider such as a doctor, nurse, or hospital deviates from the accepted standard of care and causes harm to a patient as a result. Although historically we may have considered cancer to be more of an “older” person’s disease, current data proves that this is not the case. Medical professionals not only must stay abreast of new information to ensure they are providing the most up-to-date care, but they also need to apply new knowledge to everyday scenarios, like screening younger patients for colorectal cancer. If a doctor fails to diagnose a patient in a timely manner or fails to diagnose the patient’s condition altogether, he or she should file a medical malpractice claim.
At Galfand Berger, our attorneys are experienced in representing victims of negligent medical care. Here are just a few examples of our firm’s notable recoveries on behalf of injured clients:
If you have questions about filing a medical malpractice claim, someone at our firm can help. Contact a representative online now.
If you have questions about filing a claim for injuries you sustained, contact the Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.