Colorectal cancer, which is the third deadliest in the U.S., is being seen in more people under the age of 50. West Virginia residents who know someone with colon or rectal cancer should know that the American Cancer Society recommends getting screened for both from the age of 45 onward.

What the specific data is like

The American Cancer Society says that the median age of those diagnosed with colorectal cancer went down from 72 in 1989 to 66 in 2016. Since the 1990s, the number of people under 50 who are being diagnosed with this type of cancer has been sharply increasing.

The CDC says that in 2017, the latest year for which complete data is available, 52,547 people died from colorectal cancer. The mortality rate varies among different groups. For example, Alaska Natives have a mortality rate three times higher than that of whites and twice that of Black patients.

Reason for the increase unknown

Researchers have predicted that 53,200 people will die from colorectal cancer in 2020 and that 3,640, or 7%, will be people under the age of 50. Moreover, they estimate that 147,950 more people will be diagnosed with the cancer in 2020 and that 17,930 cases, or 12%, will involve those under 50. Still, no one has been able to find out the reason for this trend.

For the victims of a diagnostic error

Perhaps you or someone you know has suffered as a result of a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis. If it were not for the doctor’s negligence, the colorectal cancer may have been detected sooner, and irreparable harm could have been averted. Pursuing a medical malpractice case to seek compensation for those losses might be a difficult venture, so you may want a lawyer by your side. This is especially the case when negotiations begin.