Doctors at NYU Langone Health are taking the extra steps to make sure young adults are aware and informed about colorectal cancer. Routine screenings are not common among people under 50, but studies are seeing an increase of diagnoses in patients in their 20s and 30s.
Mark Pochapin, MD, director of the Division of Gastroenterology at NYU Langone and treasurer of the American College of Gastroenterology, and Renee L. Williams, MD, assistant professor in NYU Langone’s Department of Medicine and Division of Gastroenterology have some advice to ensure doctors and patients alike to remain aware and proactive.
The new data “raises the flag to be vigilant,” Dr. Pochapin tells The New York Times. “We need doctors to realize colorectal cancer is possible in younger patients, and if they are having something like rectal bleeding, this could be something more serious. Young people’s symptoms should not be dismissed.”
Dr. Pochapin and Dr. Williams suggest regular checkups with a primary care physician, even when you have no medical issues. They also suggest the importance of knowing if you have a family history of colorectal cancer.
“If you have a first-degree relative—a parent or sibling—who had colon cancer at 50,” for example, “you should be screened at 40,” or 10 years earlier, says Dr. Williams.
Read more from The New York Times.