Chadwick Boseman, the actor well-known for playing superhero Black Panther died on 28th August 2020, due to colon cancer – which is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. and also affecting more and more younger Americans day by day.The incident of colon cancer in younger people has increased in the recent years. Colorectal cancer – including colon and rectal cancer – is projected to cause more than 50,000 deaths in 2020, including 3,640 deaths in people under 50 years of age. According to the American Cancer Society, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is around 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women. About 100,000 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer this year, and over 40,000 will be diagnosed with rectal cancer, including 18,000 cases of colorectal cancer in people younger than 50, the organisation reports.

Although deaths from colon and rectal cancers have declined for several decades due to improved screening and treatment steps, there has been a small rise in deaths among young people in recent years , researchers say. Those figures are growing for younger people. According to the American Cancer Society, deaths from colorectal cancer in people younger than 55 years of age have risen by 1 per cent per year from 2008 and 2017. Oncologists really don’t know what causes the growing number of cases among young people, but there are a variety of theories such as changes in diet over the last few years, obesity, elevated diabetes prevalence, High intake of processed meat and alcohol, low physical activity and fibre intake, and cigarette smoking, are all the risk factors associated with colon cancer. 

The fall in screening test during pandemic

Doctors fear that the trend of colon cancer in younger people is going to increase because of the dangerous drop in the screenings during the pandemic. A recent research report in the Journal Gastrointestinal Endoscopy on the COVID-19 pandemic shows that, in these pandemic times, the level of drop in these screenings across all populations is estimated at 86 per cent. Colonoscopy is the gold standard for colon cancer screening. It allows doctors to see inside the colon and rectal areas and anything found, especially cancer-prone lesions, can be removed during the procedure. However since elective or routine screenings are put on hold due to COVID-19, researchers fear that people who need it the most won’t come back and which may not lead to early diagnosis and treatment. 

The home test kits for colon cancer in this pandemic have been shown to be helpful in the diagnosis. You need a prescription from a doctor, and you can find signs for up to 90 per cent of cancers in those at lower risk. If they should detect something on the home exam, the only downside is that you will possibly need a colonoscopy to confirm, and then maybe a third operation if a growth is too large to extract during a colonoscopy.

The Cancer Bias 

Overall Black Americans are disproportionately affected by colorectal cancer. The prevalence of cancer is about 20 per cent higher among Black men and women relative to their Caucasian counterparts, and Black patients are about 40 per cent more likely to die from colorectal cancer, said Rebecca Siegel, a cancer epidemiologist and the American Cancer Society’s clinical director of surveillance studies.If you’re 45-year-old Black American, it’s known as the time for the cancer to appear because of a slightly elevated risk of colon cancer.

In order to address the growing prevalence of colorectal cancer among young people , researchers recommend educating clinicians and the public about signs and tests and improving access to health care for young people who are less likely to have access to primary care doctors and are more likely to report their cancer treatment bankruptcy. In the world of telemedicine particularly now, people would be afraid to suggest a colonoscopy. If you have rectal bleeding, sweats at night, cramping – particularly dark blood, Abdominal bloating, cramps or discomfort, A feeling that the bowel doesn’t empty completely, Stools that are thinner than normal or any other symptoms of colon cancer – you really have to discuss that with your doctor.