HealthColorectal Cancer Month: Disease appearing in younger Americans

Colorectal Cancer Month: Disease appearing in younger Americans

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March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, highlighting the third most common form of cancer and the second most lethal form in the world.

Dr. Margaret Chin, family medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente in Lynnwood, said the number of younger Americans with advanced stages of colorectal cancer has gone up in recent decades, prompting the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to lower its recommended screening age from 50 to 45.

“This is surprising to a lot of us but the statistics have shown this change from what we used to think as a disease for older people to now a disease for younger people,” Chin observed.

Chin pointed out the proportion of cases for people under 55 has nearly doubled over the last 25 years. However, she noted the total number of colorectal cancer cases has actually declined, which is likely due to better detection.

Chin advised there are options for how people can get screened. The traditional method is by colonoscopy, but a newer method is the FIT kit test, which can be used at home. Chin stressed it is important to find the best option for each person.

“The best screening test is the one that you will do,” Chin emphasized. “I just want to encourage people that we cannot find cancer if we’re not looking for it. So please talk to your provider about getting screened as soon as you can.”

Colonoscopies are typically done every 10 years while the FIT tests are taken every year. With FIT kits, doctors look for microscopic blood in stool samples.

Mes del cáncer colorrectal: enfermedad aparece en estadounidenses más jóvenes

Colorectal Cancer

Marzo es mes de concientizacion sobre el cancer colorrectal. El mismo es la tercera forma mas comun de cancer y la segunda mas letal en el mundo.

La doctora Margaret Chin de Kaiser Permanente en Lynnwood, Washington, dice que el numero de estadounidenses mas jovenes con estadios avanzados de cancer colorrectal ha aumentado en las ultimas decadas, lo que llevo al Grupo de Trabajo de Servicios Preventivos de EE. UU. a reducir la edad recomendada para las pruebas de deteccion desde de 50 a 45 anos.

“Nos sorprende a muchos de nosotros, pero las estadisticas han demostrado este cambio de lo que soliamos pensar como una enfermedad de personas mayores a ahora una enfermedad de personas mas jovenes,” anadio la doctora.

Chin menciona que la proporcion de casos entre personas menores de 55 anos se ha casi duplicado en los ultimos 25 anos. Sin embargo, tambien senala que el numero total de casos de cancer colorrectal en realidad ha disminuido, y eso probablemente se deba a una mejor deteccion.

Chin agrega que hay opciones sobre como las personas pueden hacerse las pruebas. El metodo tradicional es la colonoscopia, pero un metodo mas nuevo es la prueba del kit FIT, que se puede utilizar en casa. La entrevistada tambien comenta que es importante encontrar la opcion que funcione mejor para cada persona.

“La mejor prueba de deteccion es la que se hace. Asi que solo quiero animar a las personas a que no podemos encontrar el cancer si no lo buscamos. Asi que hable con su proveedor sobre la posibilidad de hacerse pruebas de deteccion lo antes posible,” indico Chin.

Las colonoscopias generalmente se realizan cada diez anos, mientras que las pruebas FIT se realizan cada ano. Con los kits FIT, los medicos buscan sangre microscopica en muestras de heces fecales.

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