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Once considered prominent diseases for older adults, research has determined that cancers of the rectum and of the colon have seen a dramatic rise in young adults, starting as young as their 20’s and 30’s.

Beloved cultural podcaster Reggie “Combat Jack” Ossé announced recently that he was diagnosed with colon cancer after suddenly falling ill. He is in our sincerest thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery.

While most cases of colorectal cancers are still found in older adults (90% of cases are people diagnosed in people over the ago of 50), a study from the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute  have found colorectal cancer rates have been increasing for every generation since 1950, and experts are struggling to discover why.

The A.C.S. also found that cases of rectal cancers have increased faster than cancers found in other parts of the large and small intestines, estimating that approximately 13,500 new cases of colon and rectal cancer will be diagnosed in Americans under the age of 50 this year. Younger adults run the risk of being diagnosed with the cancer in the later course of the disease, as screening normally starts around age 50. Scientists and doctors have noticed cancer rates had fallen in recent times because of the developments and use of precautionary screening tests like colonoscopies, but with the disease often associated with aging, this spike in the cancer affecting younger people has left authorities baffled.

There are several methods for testing and screening for colorectal cancers— visit the American Cancer Society here for more information.