New Report Finds Most Young Colorectal Cancer Patients Go To The Emergency Room When They Are Experiencing Symptoms

A new report from nonprofit patient advocacy organization Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) and healthcare technology company Komodo Health found that colorectal cancer (CRC) patients under 35 years old are most likely to have their symptoms evaluated in the emergency room. Patients ages 35-49 were most likely to experience symptoms of metastatic disease. The data findings from Komodo Health confirm what Fight CRC hears daily from the patient community. Unfortunately, too many patients are presenting with red flag symptoms but experience an extended delay to diagnosis. 

“On my third trip to the emergency room, I was finally asked about my health history. The doctors gave me a blood test, resulting in me taking a fecal test to determine if I had blood in my stool,” said Candance Henley, survivor and Founder of the Blue Hat Foundation. “The test was positive and I was quickly sent for a colonoscopy and diagnosed with stage IIB colon cancer.”

Unfortunately, this is the story for far too many young CRC patients. The report also found that the most common “red flag” symptoms for CRC diagnoses in patients under 35 are anemia and abdominal pain. Educating students, young adults, and medical professionals about the risks and symptoms of CRC, that can occur at all ages, could prevent future cases or help a younger patient get a diagnosis as early as possible.

“This report is so important for understanding the early signs of early-age onset colorectal cancer. We hear too many stories where the cancer is caught at a late stage due to lack of awareness about the colorectal cancer signs and symptoms. Young people are dying, and it’s time for us to take steps in the right direction, starting with identifying the disease as early as possible."

Fight CRC President, Anjee Davis

EAO CRC rates have been increasing worldwide, with roughly 18,000 people under the age of 50 projected to be diagnosed in the U.S. this year alone. Another recent JAMA study predicts that by 2030, CRC will be the leading cause of cancer deaths for those ages 20-49. Fight CRC is working side-by-side with the patient community to fight this growing issue through advocacy and research efforts.

On June 14, Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) advocates from across the country joined forces for a “Day of Action” to bring awareness to this troubling statistic and urged policymakers to take action to change it. Colorectal cancer survivors, caregivers, and loved ones took to Twitter for the first-ever “#PrioritizeCRC Twitter Takeover” reaching over 650,000 users, and advocates also added their names to a petition urging President Biden and Vice President Harris to prioritize colorectal cancer research efforts.

On June 24-25, Fight CRC is bringing together researchers, clinicians, members of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and patient advocates from around the world for a Rally on Research. The virtual event will continue building a global research network and plan to address the EAO CRC phenomenon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *