The New York Times is reporting that younger men are increasingly dying from colon cancer. For the last year, scientific studies have indicated again and again that the incidence rate of colon cancer in this cohort was increasing, but doctors had theorized that this could have been the result of better screening processes detecting more cases early rather than an actual increase in the number of cases. But a rising death rate indicates there is more going on than just better diagnostics.
The overall death rate for colon cancer has been trending down for decades, as increased awareness of the disease has led to more and more people getting tested. Colonoscopies are routinely recommended for individuals over the age of 50. With early diagnosis, the success rate for treatment for colorectal cancer is among the highest of any forms of the disease.
There are many theories as to why the incidence of colon cancer in young men is increasing. The modern diet, high in sugar and low in fiber, is one potential reason for the higher rate. Less exercise as more time is spent on the couch watching television or playing video games is another potential culprit. But science has not yet determined definitively what is going on, and until they do physicians and patients must rely on the existing tests for diagnosis.
Doctors must be aware of this increased rate. Young men who display any of the classic symptoms of colon cancer should be tested aggressively to determine if they have the disease. Prompt treatment is the best course of action to minimize long-term impacts on the patient.
Missed diagnosis of colon cancer is devastating. As one of the more treatable forms of cancer, a quick diagnosis makes a life-changing difference for most patients. If you or someone you love has suffered due to a missed diagnosis of colorectal cancer, please contact an attorney who can help you hold the medical establishment responsible for their negligence.