Though colorectal cancer was once regarded as a disease affecting mostly older adults, or adults over the age of 50, data shows a sharp increase in the rate of cases in younger age groups. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that colorectal cancer cases are rising in adults between the ages of 20 and 50.
No one knows for sure why colorectal cancer is becoming more common in younger adults, but one thing remains clear: all patients, including young patients, deserve support and guidance.
If you are facing colorectal cancer in your 20s, 30s or 40s, Piedmont Colorectal Associates has some advice you may find useful.
Find Others Who Have Been Through Something Similar
Facing cancer at a young age presents unique physical, emotional, social and practical challenges that are different from those experienced by older patients. These obstacles may feel isolating, but know that you are never alone.
One of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health is to find other people your age who have been through the same thing. Nowadays, there are many services and resources to support you on your journey.
Whether it’s an in-person or online support group, we encourage you to connect with peers whom you can learn from and lean on when you need it most.
Let Go of Embarrassment and Shame
If you are a relatively modest or private person, you probably dislike talking about bathroom habits — especially with people you don’t know very well. But your medical team needs to know about your symptoms, no matter how embarrassing they may seem. Never feel ashamed or embarrassed about discussing bowel habits and related symptoms or problems with your doctors. Great doctors have heard it all, and they will treat your concerns with sensitivity and compassion.
Avoid the Comparison Trap
Comparing ourselves to others is a natural human behavior. But when you are dealing with the challenges of cancer, it is crucial to avoid falling into the comparison trap; that goes for comparing yourself to peers who do not have colorectal cancer. It is too easy to get caught up in comparing “who has it better,” and lose sight of what is truly important.
Everyone is on his or her own path and makes the best choices he or she can. Don’t spend your time or energy comparing yourself to someone else. Focus on doing what is best for yourself at any given moment.
We Are Here for You
At Piedmont Colorectal Associates, we focus on providing expert care throughout all phases of cancer diagnosis and treatment. We understand the challenges young adults face when dealing with colorectal cancer, and we strive to offer the professional guidance you need. If we don’t have what you are looking for, we can help point you in the direction of other resources or support.
For more information about colorectal cancer diagnosis or treatment, please contact us today.