Important Information for Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers and Silent Generation

March 24, 2023

Valley Health System, Las Vegas, NevadaAccording to the American Cancer Society®, colorectal cancer is shifting to affect younger adults and more advanced disease stages. They estimated 153,0202 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2023.

According to the Nevada Cancer Coalition,* the American Cancer Society estimates 1,490 Nevadans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and it is the #2 cause of cancer deaths in Nevada (lung cancer is first).

Black Nevadans, and especially black men, bear the greatest risk for diagnosis and death from colorectal cancer.

In November 2022, Medicare updated its rules to eliminate out-of-pocket costs for a necessary colonoscopy after a positive noninvasive screening test (i.e. FIT or Stool DNA). Medicare also adopted the age of 45 as the minimum age for colorectal cancer screening.**

Regardless of one’s age, everyone should be aware of their risk factors, signs and symptoms.

Risk Factors

  • Age – over 50+
  • Personal or family history of colorectal polyps or colon cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (ie. Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease)
  • Genetics
  • Lack of regular physical activity or being overweight
  • Diet that is low in fruits, vegetables, and/or fiber and high in fat
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol consumption

Colorectal Cancer Signs/Symptoms (source: American Cancer Society)

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by having one
  • Rectal bleeding with bright red blood
  • Blood in the stool, which might make it look dark brown or black
  • Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Losing weight without trying