Many young adults in Newark have heard their parents complain about having to get a colonoscopy, with the fasting and cleansing that they must undergo before the screening takes place. Nevertheless, most adults are begrudgingly happy to take these measures, if it means detecting cancer early. Since regular colorectal screenings usually don’t start until a person is in their 50s, it may seem like colorectal cancers are only an issue for older adults. One study, however, may dispute this assumption.

A 2017 American Cancer Society study has reached some interesting findings when it comes to the rates of colorectal cancers and young adults. According to the study, “Generation X” and “millennials” have seen a significant uptick in these types of cancer. In fact, according to this study, three in every 10 rectal cancer sufferers are under age 55. This means that a person with a 1990 birthdate has two times the risk of developing colon cancer and four times the risk of developing rectal cancer than a person with a 1950 birthdate.

As it stands, healthy individuals will undergo a routine colorectal cancer screening at approximately 50-years-old. However, the findings of this study reveal that even millennials can benefit from such screenings. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that colorectal cancer deaths are the second most common cancer deaths in our nation. However, if caught early, it is also among the most preventable cancers. For example, through a screening pre-cancerous polyps can be removed. Therefore, even young adults should still consider being screened regularly for colorectal cancers.

In the end, despite screening and age, if a person does develop a colorectal cancer, he or she may have to undergo an operation, radiation or chemotherapy. Any of these treatments can cause a person to suffer physically for a long time, and unfortunately some cancers end up being fatal. The Social Security Administration recognizes this and includes cancer in its Listing of Impairments. Therefore, those with colorectal cancer can seek Social Security disability benefits if they so choose.