HEALTH

Younger colon cancer deaths are increasing significantly

Feb 22, 2024, 12:00 PM

Doctors analyze a screening of a colon...

(American Cancer Society/Getty Images)

(American Cancer Society/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — There’s been a significant increase in the number of people under the age of 55 dying from colon cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths in men under the age of 50. Additionally, it is the number two cancer killer for women under 50.

Dr. Nathan Merriman, the medical director of gastroenterology and digestive health at Intermountain Health, said the worst part is that colon cancer is very preventable and treatable if caught early with a colonoscopy. 

Early screening, early detection

Between 1995 and 2019, the number of people under the age of 55 who died from colon cancer doubled, according to the American Cancer Society.

Merriman said there are symptoms to pay attention to.

“Blood in the bowel movements, abdominal pain, new, different changes in bowel movements that are concerning. Those are reasons to get a colonoscopy early,” said Merriman. 

He recommends that everyone should get a colon cancer screening by age 45. If there’s a family history or someone is having symptoms, they should begin younger. If the screening returns as positive for pre-cancerous polyps, Merriman said to make sure you tell your immediate family members. 

“So, if you have multiple second-degree relatives or other family members with a pattern of colon cancer or advanced pre-cancerous polyps, that really should be shared and talked about as a family,” said Merriman.

Colon cancer prevention

“The recommendations are don’t smoke … eat more vegetables, eat less red meats,” said Merriman. “Stay active, eat a good amount of fiber, and stay hydrated to really help with circulation to keep the bowel movements regular.”

Merriman emphasized that everyone should get their first colonoscopy by age 45 and earlier if there is a family history.

Related:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Health

The Instagram logo is seen on a cell phone in Boston, USA, Oct. 14, 2022....

KELVIN CHAN AP Business Writer

Instagram begins blurring nudity in messages to protect teens and fight sexual extortion

Instagram says it's deploying new tools to protect young people, including a feature that will automatically blur nudity in direct messages.

7 hours ago

An image produced using optical microscopy shows Clostridium botulinum, an ingredient in Botox and ...

Deidre McPhillips, CNN

Counterfeit Botox injections linked to illness, hospitalization in two states

People in at least two states have been hospitalized with botulism-like illness after receiving counterfeit Botox.

1 day ago

Image of Lunchables. Consumer Reports has petitioned the USDA to remove school Lunchables from scho...

Parija Kavilanz and Sandee LaMotte, CNN

Consumer group wants Lunchables out of school lunch programs

Consumer Reports said their tests found the school cafeteria version of Lunchables has too much sodium.

2 days ago

Provo School year Plan...

Heather Peterson

Free annual health screenings will be offered to Provo City School District students

Free annual health screenings will soon be offered at elementary schools in the Provo City School District.

2 days ago

Former President Trump says abortion ban in Arizona goes too far....

Associated Press

Trump says Arizona’s abortion ban goes too far while defending the overturning of Roe v. Wade

Former President Trump said Arizona's abortion ban goes too far, but defended the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

2 days ago

people protest in arizona after abortions law roe v wade overturned by supreme court...

KEVIN STONE, KTAR

Most abortions banned in Arizona after state Supreme Court upholds 1864 law

It will be illegal to perform abortions in Arizona except when necessary to save the life of the mother. Abortion had been legal in Arizona up to 15 weeks of pregnancy.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Live Nation Concerts

Artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Younger colon cancer deaths are increasing significantly