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Today, the American Cancer Society released a new study confirming the dramatic increase of colon and rectal cancers in those under the age of 50. But what’s more startling is that this isn’t a surprise to anyone within our community – the data around this issue has been here since 2012, when we brought in experts from across the country for the nation’s first young-onset symposium and released the breakthrough white paper highlighting this disturbing trend. The data supports what we’ve been hearing from our community for years: young people, in the prime of their lives, are being diagnosed more often and at a later stage than any other group. The question we’ve been working tirelessly to address – and the question every group needs to be asking – is why. The rate of studies coming out about this issue is almost as rapid as the rise in incidence, and yet, no other group is taking up a stand to ask why this is happening and what we need to be doing. We applaud the medical community for finally embracing this as a very real phenomenon, but it isn’t enough. We hear over and over again that members of our community are being misdiagnosed by those same medical professionals – being told they are too young for a colonoscopy because they aren’t 50 years old. And by the time the cancer is found, months later, it is too late. With five years of research studies, this is unacceptable and irresponsible. We have to do more for this generation – starting with the message to the public, to the medical community, to legislators and to everyone who will listen – that you’re never too young for colorectal cancer.       Michael Sapienza CEO Colon Cancer Alliance


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