Mercy's Dr. Patrick Hyatt Discusses Colon Cancer in Younger Patients
When it comes to colorectal cancer, at-risk patients are typically defined as people who are 50 or older.
However, recent studies from the American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute indicate a rise in rates of colorectal cancer in young adults -- 20 to 50 years old.
According to gastroenterologist Dr. Patrick Hyatt of The Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy Medical Center, the trend is certainly worth keeping an eye on, but the incidence of colorectal cancer cases in young adults is still small, and although the data shows an increase, researchers don't know why.
"This incidence of increasing cancer risks in younger patients is not something we're seeing worldwide. It seems to be limited to the United States and perhaps China -- two countries where we do a lot of colonoscopies. So, it begs the question whether the incidents are really going up, or we are just detecting it more then we used to because we're doing more tests," Dr. Hyatt said.
If you're a young adult, it's important to understand your risks and minimize them.
Smoking increases the risk of precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer. Heredity is another big risk factor.
Dr. Hyatt suggests that people who notice anything abnormal call their doctor.
View Mercy gastroenterologist Dr. Patrick Hyatt’s interview regarding colon cancer in younger adults.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.