Signs You Should Be Screened For Colon Cancer, Regardless Of Age

Colon cancer is generally thought of as an older persons' problem. Indeed, the CDC recommends colon cancer screening for those ages 45 to 75, since these are the adults most likely to develop these sorts of cancers. However, that does not mean that younger people never need to be screened for colon cancer. Yes, it is less common for younger people to develop colon cancer, but it is definitely not impossible. Anyone who is showing these possible signs of colon cancer should be screened, regardless of their age:

Abnormal Lumps in the Abdomen

When you feel around your abdomen, do you detect any sort of hard or unusual mass under your skin? If you do, wait a day or two to see if it passes. (It could just be a hard fecal mass.) If the lump remains, then you should alert your doctor to the matter. They'll likely recommend colon cancer screening since colon cancer is one possible cause of this sort of lump.

Red Blood in the Stool

Any sort of blood in the stool, whether that blood appears black, dark red, or light red, is a reason to call your doctor. Darker blood is usually indicative of a problem further up in the digestive tract, but bright red blood often comes from the colon. Now, there is a good chance the bleeding is caused by something less sinister than cancer — such as a hemorrhoid or benign lesion. But since there is also a chance it's caused by colon cancer, it's smart to get screened.

Thin Stools

If a cancerous mass grows large enough to start impeding on the space inside the colon, you might find that your stools begin appearing thin and pencil-like. This is definitely a sign you should be screened for colon cancer, and soon, as this symptom can mean the cancer is already on a more progressed stage.

Unexplained Lower Abdominal Pain

If you are frequently experiencing lower abdominal pain, your doctor will generally send you for a colonoscopy. One reason for the colonoscopy is, of course, to screen for colon cancer. However, the same test can be used to look for signs of ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, which are other common causes of this symptom.

Colon cancer does predominantly affect older adults, but sometimes younger people develop it, too. Don't let your young age stop you from being screened if you have worrisome symptoms.