Both men and women in New Mexico and across the U.S. run a high risk for colorectal cancer. It’s the third most common cancer behind lung and prostate cancer for men and lung and breast cancer for women. The CDC says that 52,547 people died from it in 2017, the latest year for which there’s complete data.

Colorectal cancer in people under 50

The American Cancer Society says you should start being screened for colorectal cancer at age 45. Ever since the 1990s, there have been more people under 50 being diagnosed with this type of cancer. While the median age of those diagnosed in 1989 was 72, the median age went down to 66 in 2016.

Between 2008 and 2017, the number of those aged 65 and older who died from colorectal cancer saw an annual drop of 3%. Yet the fatality rate for patients under 50 increased 1.3% annually. In 2020, an estimated 7% of the 53,200 people who will likely die from the cancer will be under 50.

Further research into the trend is necessary

Researchers believe that increased screening is behind the drop in cancer cases among the elderly. They cannot explain the opposite trend among younger people, but they suggest diet as one factor. What a person consumes can affect what microorganisms compose the intestinal microbiome.

Compensation for diagnosis-related harm

Colorectal cancer is deadly, and time is precious. Perhaps you had some of that time taken away from you because a negligent doctor did not diagnose the cancer in a reasonable amount of time. Under medical malpractice law, you may be able to receive compensation for the harm incurred. The process is not easy, so you may want to see a lawyer. The lawyer might bring in medical investigators and other experts to help build up the case.