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Fifty-One Percent Increase in Colorectal Cancer in Adults, Ages 20-49, Since 1994

December 4, 2017 (Washington, D.C.) - The Colorectal Cancer Alliance convened the inaugural Never Too Young (N2Y) Advisory Board to address the concerns and needs of young colorectal cancer survivors, who are often overlooked due to their age because it’s typically seen in adults over 50 years old. This past weekend, more than 20 board members—all of whom are under 50 years old—convened at Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., to strategize the best way to serve survivors and caregivers, such as:

  • Creating ageless resources to educate young people and medical professionals about this rising incidence of colorectal cancer;

  • Leveraging social media to save the lives of young people from a disease they don’t even realize they have the potential to get;

  • And developing resource guides for young onset colorectal cancer survivors and their caregivers to help them on their journey.

“Through local and national efforts we plan to raise awareness about young onset colorectal cancer and remove the stigma of colorectal cancer,” said Kim Newcomer, Never2Young program manager at the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. “One of the most powerful tools we have is education. We must take this message directly to young people and the medical community.”

Since 1994, diagnosis of colorectal cancer in young adults, ages 20-49, have increased by 51%, according to the National Cancer Institute. Colorectal cancer is highly treatable if detected early, but because the standard screening age is 50, young people with the disease tend to be diagnosed at later stages.

The N2Y Advisory Board provides a strong voice for the young onset colorectal cancer community by going straight to the source: All of the members have been directly impacted by colorectal cancer, either as a survivor or patient. Members flew into Washington for the meeting from across the country.

“It is important for me to be here as an advocate to bring awareness about young onset colorectal cancer and to let people know an early diagnosis is possible when you have the right information and become an advocate for your health,” said Anna Dahlgren, a N2Y Advisory Board member who was diagnosed with stage 1 colon cancer at the age of 32.

The Colorectal Cancer Alliance has also committed $3 million over the next three years to raise awareness and fund research to put an end to colorectal cancer in young adults.

For more information about the Never Too Young Advisory Board and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance’s efforts to end young onset colorectal cancer, please visit www.ccalliance.org.


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