Colon and Rectal Cancer Cases are Going up Among People Younger than 50, Researchers Say

Colon and Rectal Cancer Cases are Going up Among People Younger than 50, Researchers Say

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Cases of colon and rectal cancer are on the rise in young adults — and the median age of patients diagnosed is getting lower.

Colorectal cancer is the third deadliest cancer among men and women in the United States — after lung and prostate in men and lung and breast in women.

Actor Chadwick Boseman died of colon cancer Friday at age 43 after battling the disease for years.

Colorectal cancer cases among those under 50 have been increasing since the 1990s, according to a March report by the American Cancer Society.

Half of all new diagnoses are in people under age 66, the report said.

The median age is going down

The American Cancer Society recommends regular screening for colon and rectal cancer from age 45. Other health organizations still recommend routine screening starting at age 50.

In 2017 — the most recent data available — 52,547 people died of colorectal cancer nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More younger people have been diagnosed over the years. The American Cancer Society report found that the median age for people diagnosed with colorectal cancer was 72 in 1989. It stayed that way until the early 2000s and then fell to 66 by 2016.

The rate at which people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the United States is dropping among those 65 and older but rising in younger adults.

Scientists knew colorectal cancer cases were going up in younger age groups. “But we were surprised by how fast it is happening,” said Rebecca Siegel, study co-author and scientific director of surveillance research at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta.

“This report is very important because it not only provides a snapshot of the current colorectal cancer burden, but also a window to the future,” Siegel said.

If the increases in younger adults continue, doctors will face unique challenges such as the need for the preservation of fertility and sexual function, as well as the risk of long-term treatment effects because of their extended life expectancy she added.

The obesity epidemic could be a factor

The report included data on colorectal cancer cases and deaths from the National Cancer Institute and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others.

Based on an analysis of the data, researchers found colorectal cancer cases among people younger than 50 have been increasing since the mid-1990s.

From 2012 to 2016, incidence rates among that age group rose by 2.2% annually and included tumors found in both the colon and the rectum, the study found.

Among adults ages 50 to 64, researchers found that colorectal cancer incidence declined during the 2000s, then reversed course and rose by 1% annually between 2011 and 2016. Among adults ages 65 and older, the study found that a rapid decline in colorectal cancer incidence persisted during the 2000s and that rates fell by 3.3% annually from 2011 to 2016.

“Much of the decline in incidence in older aged adults is because of increased screening, but the cause for rising incidence in younger age groups is still unknown,” Siegel said.

“The obesity epidemic is probably contributing, but doesn’t seem to be the sole cause,” she said. “Diet has a large influence on colorectal cancer risk and there is a lot of research going on looking at how different things we consume, including drugs such as antibiotics, influence gut health, specifically their role in determining the microorganisms that make up our microbiome.”

Doctors should follow up with younger patients

The review also revealed trends in colorectal cancer deaths and determined future projections for the disease.

The analysis found from 2008-2017, colorectal cancer death rates dropped by 3% annually in adults 65 and older and by 0.6% annually in adults ages 50 to 64 — but the rates jumped by 1.3% a year in adults younger than 50.

The report also found that “striking disparities” by race and geography persist, with mortality rates among Alaska Natives almost three times higher than those in whites and about double those in blacks.

As for incidence, during 2012 through 2016, rates ranged from 30 cases per 100,000 people among Asian/Pacific Islanders and 38.6 in Whites to 45.7 in Blacks and 89 in Alaska Natives, according to the data.

There were limitations in the research and scientists were unable to determine exactly why certain declines or increases in colorectal cancer occurred among various age groups.

Yet researchers were able to make some projections in future trends, predicting an estimated 53,200 colorectal cancer deaths in 2020 with an estimated 7%, or 3,640 deaths, in adults younger than 50.

The analysis also projected 147,950 newly diagnosed cases of colorectal cancer in the US this year with about 12%, or 17,930 cases, diagnosed in adults younger than 50.

The analysis may build more consensus for screening before age 50, Siegel said.


Contributors: Jacqueline Howard and Faith Karimi, CNN

How to Prepare for a Wildfire Evacuation (or Other Emergencies)

How to Prepare for a Wildfire Evacuation (or Other Emergencies)

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A wildfire can start at any moment, and they can move fast and unpredictably. Preparing for an evacuation should begin before there is any danger.

If your household is under voluntary or potential evacuations, begin to prepare your home and get ready to leave. If mandatory evacuations are ordered, it’s important to leave as fast as possible.

Here are steps to take to prepare for a wildfire evacuation.

Have a plan
Preparations for a wildfire evacuation (or any emergency) should start before there is any danger. Create a family evacuation and communications plan. Make sure to include pets as a part of the plan. Establish a meeting area outside your home if your house is in immediate danger. Stay tuned to phone alerts, TV or radio for the latest emergency instructions or evacuation orders.

“The personal plan should, number 1, be your out-of-state contacts that everyone knows to dial in and report that you’re well and, secondly, the meeting places. You want two designated meeting places in case you don’t have access to your primary meeting place,” says Erica Arteseros of the San Francisco Fire Department.

Prepare your home
If there is time to prepare your home prior to a potential evacuation, follow Cal Fire’s pre-evacuation preparations list for inside and outside your home. If your family or your home are in imminent danger, evacuate immediately.

Important steps for inside your home include keeping your windows unlocked, moving any flammable materials or furniture away from windows to the center of a room and leaving your lights on so firefighters can see through the smoke.

Important steps for outside your home include gathering flammable items and placing them inside your home, turning off and moving propane tanks away from structures and checking on your neighbors to make sure they are preparing to leave.

Assemble an emergency supply kit
Having supplies for each member of your household is an important step for evacuation preparation. Cal Fire recommends having a three-day supply non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person. Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses, a seven-day supply of medications and copies of important documents, such as birth certificates and passports, are also important to pack.

Document your possessions
Finally, document your possessions both inside and outside the home with a cellphone camera. If you haven’t done this in advance, and you have at least a half an hour, do it before you leave.

Amy Bach is with the consumer group United Policyholders. “The things again you wouldn’t be able to replace — antiques, let’s say, ‘here’s a table that I inherited from my grandmother. Here’s another piece of art,'” said Bach.

Don’t forget to videotape capture the exterior of your house as well.

“It’s amazing how often people don’t have a record of their house. How big was it?” asks Bach.

Watch the video provided by ABC7 to see a list of supplies and see Cal Fire’s full emergency supply kit checklist here.

Health Experts Say There’s No Evidence the Coronavirus Can Be Transmitted Through Food

Health Experts Say There’s No Evidence the Coronavirus Can Be Transmitted Through Food

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Here’s the bottom line: Doctors and health experts have repeatedly said the coronavirus is not likely to be transmitted by food.

You might have seen reports this week that Chinese authorities said a surface sample from a batch of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil tested positive for coronavirus.

But don’t panic.

Yes, the virus was detected on the food product in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, according to a statement from the municipal government. Officials did not name the brand.

But test results for people who might have had contact with the chicken wings have so far come back negative, the statement said, and tracing is underway for products from the same brand that have already been sold. Meantime, one expert said tests of the chicken might have detected genetic material from dead coronavirus, which can cause false positives. Chicken wings test positive for Covid-19 in China, but there’s no evidence of food transmission, experts say.

Here’s the bottom line: Doctors and health experts have repeatedly said the coronavirus is not likely to be transmitted by food.

Dr. Ian Williams, chief of the Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which investigates foodborne and waterborne illnesses, previously said there was no evidence that Covid-19 is “foodborne-driven or food service-driven.” “This really is respiratory, person-to-person,” Williams said. “At this point there is no evidence really pointing us towards food (or) food service as ways that are driving the epidemic.”

Covid-19 is largely spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks when they’re within 6 feet of another person, according to the CDC. The best ways to prevent the spread is by social distancing, wearing a mask, thoroughly washing your hands and covering a cough or sneeze.

Williams’ point was reiterated more recently by the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture, which said in a joint statement in June there is “no evidence” people can contract the virus from food or food packaging.

Now, per the CDC, it is possible you could get Covid-19 by touching a contaminated surface, including food packaging, and then touching your face. But you can reduce the risk by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after handling food packaging.

Unlikely virus will persist after shipping, WHO says

 International experts also seem to agree.

“People should not fear food or food packaging or the processing or delivery of food,” Dr. Michael Ryan, the executive director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Programme, said Thursday. “I would hate to think that we would create an impression that there’s a problem with our food or there’s a problem with our food chains,” he said. “There is no evidence that food or the food chain is participating in transmission of this virus, and people should feel comfortable and feel safe.”

The WHO previously said it is “highly unlikely that people can contract COVID-19 from food or food packaging,” reiterating Covid-19 is a respiratory illness primarily spread person-to-person.

Additionally, it’s unlikely the coronavirus would be transmitted through goods manufactured elsewhere, per the WHO. “Even though the new coronavirus can stay on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days (depending on the type of surface), it is very unlikely that the virus will persist on a surface after being moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures,” the WHO said.

If you’re still uneasy, know that your body has another line of defense. Even if the coronavirus got into your food, your stomach acid would kill it, according to Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University.

“When you eat any kind of food, whether it be hot or cold, that food is going to go straight down into your stomach, where there’s a high acidity, low-pH environment that will inactivate the virus,” she said.

In the case of the chicken wings in Shenzhen, David Hui Shu-cheong, a respiratory medicine expert at the University of Hong Kong, said they were likely contaminated during packaging. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re infectious.

The tests could be picking up the RNA — the genetic material — of dead coronavirus, he said, which has been known to cause false positive results in patients who have recovered from Covid-19.


Contributor: Dakin Andone, CNN

10th Year Celebration!

Help us Celebrate 10 Healthful Years!


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Nitric Oxide for Energy & Performance

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