Colon cancer: Striking at younger ages

A study of nearly 260,000 colon cancer patients found that about 15 percent were younger than 50, the age that screening tests are typically first recommended for people at normal risk. Younger patients were more likely to be found to have advanced cancer. Colon cancer rates are rising as much as 2 percent yearly in younger adults (but declining in older adults). Physical inactivity and obesity are possible causes. If you have colon cancer risk factors (such as a family history), discuss with your doctor whether you should start screening before age 50. Follow these healthy lifestyle tips to prevent colon cancer, and never ignore these silent symptoms of colon cancer you might be missing.

Sit less

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that sitting down for hours at a time is associated with a higher risk of back pain, heart disease, deep vein thrombosis, diabetes, and obesity. But did you know that the inactivity associated with sitting for long periods without a break is now also linked with an increased risk of a number of cancers, and that colon cancer is at the top of the list? Sitting for prolonged periods leads to a build-up of inflammation in the body. Canadian research suggests that chronic inflammation is a predisposing factor for developing colon cancer and a number of other cancers. If you work at a desk, make sure to stand up and take a short walk at least every hour—around the office, down the hallway, anywhere will do.

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