WASHINGTON, July 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Colon Cancer Alliance has partnered with Bowel Cancer UK and the Colon Cancer Prevention Project to launch the international Never Too Young awareness campaign, addressing the rise in colon cancer diagnoses and mortality rates in those younger than 50 years old (young-onset).
This global collaboration comes with a decisive mission: educating the public that you're never too young for colon cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the world and second leading cause in the United States, and arming people with the resources and tools to incite change. The campaign features interviews with world-renowned experts in the field, draws on information from recent research on the topic and features young survivors who share their colon cancer experiences firsthand.
"After focusing on the young-onset issue at our National Conference last year, we heard so many stories and knew we needed to take action," says Jasmine Greenamyer, Colon Cancer Alliance Interim CEO. "We're letting people know that colon cancer in the under 50 population is on the rise, and that knowledge is crucial. This campaign will make a difference for so many families worldwide."
According to the American Cancer Society, the average age of colon cancer diagnosis is 68 for men and 72 for women, and rates of diagnosis for those over 50 are decreasing in the United States. But this isn't the case across the board, with approximately 15,000 new cases of young-onset colon cancer every year, and rising. Because colon cancer is less common in younger populations and often takes longer to diagnose, it often presents at more advanced and fatal stages in young-onset cases.
"Colon cancer in the under 50 population, while rare, has documented rises to prove it is an emerging issue," says Dr. Andrew Kennedy, Director of Radiation Oncology Research at Sarah Cannon Research Institute. "The decline in colon cancers in patients over age 50 is thought to be secondary to more screening of this group. It is not felt that colon cancer is a common entity in patients under 50, so this group is not as quickly screened when symptoms first appear, and risk factors are not talked about as often."
A result of these staggering trends, the Never Too Young campaign provides a platform to ask all people, not just those over the recommended screening age of 50, to take control of their health and their destinies.
Learn the trends, hear from survivors and find out more about the campaign at www.nevertooyoung.org.
The Colon Cancer Alliance's mission is to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers. We are doing this by championing prevention, funding cutting-edge research and providing the highest quality patient support services. Learn more at www.ccalliance.org
Bowel Cancer UK is a charity that aims to save lives and improve the quality of life for all those affected by bowel cancer. If you have concerns call the Bowel Cancer Information and Support Service on free phone 0800 8 40 35 40 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about bowel cancer, please visit www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk
The Colon Cancer Prevention Project's mission is to eliminate preventable colon cancer death and suffering by increasing screening rates through education, advocacy, health systems improvement and survivor support. More information at www.ColonCancerPreventionProject.org
SOURCE Colon Cancer Alliance