People Are Developing Colorectal Cancer at Younger Ages. Get Screened Today

So, how can I put this?

I’d like to talk about your behind for a minute. (Yeah, I know. Awkward.)

A disease we normally associate with old age is beginning to pluck off younger adults in their prime.

Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States. A new study reveals that the number of deaths from colorectal cancer in adults younger than 55 is rising inexplicably.

Doctors currently recommend people get regular colorectal cancer screenings beginning at age 50, but some doctors say screenings should maybe begin sooner.

Colorectal Cancer: The Basics

Colorectal cancer risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • Diets high in red meat and processed food
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • A history of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Having type 2 diabetes

The American Cancer Society website is filled with resources where you can learn about colorectal cancer, what signs and symptoms to look for and why preventative screening is so important.

There are several types of tests that screen for colorectal cancer, and, let’s be honest, none of them are a ton of fun.

But you’ve got to suck it up and just do it.

Screenings “significantly reduce” the chance of colorectal cancer-related death, but only 67% of people over 50 are up-to-date with their screenings.

Don’t be a statistic.

Where to Find Affordable Colorectal Cancer Screening

Medical tests can be expensive, but when it comes to colorectal cancer screenings, you’ve got several affordable options.  

  1. Many private health insurance plans cover the cost of a colorectal cancer test. Check with your benefits administrator or call your insurance company directly to find out if screenings are part of your coverage plan.
  1. Colorectal cancer screenings are on the Affordable Care Act’s list of preventative care benefits for adults, but some plans are exempt. Use these ACA resources to find out whether your test is covered.
  1. If you’re over 50, Medicare Part B covers a variety of colorectal cancer screening tests.
  1. Medicaid coverage varies by state. Find your state on this map to learn more.
  1. You may be eligible for free or low cost screening through your state’s Department of Public Health.
  1. Community health clinics across the country provide low- to no-cost colorectal cancer screening services. Use the U.S. Department of Health’s clinic locator to find a location near you.  

I can think of at least 895,623,748 things more fun than getting a colorectal cancer screening, but taking care of your health is worth it.

And who knows? Maybe you’ll get a good story out of it.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s the queen of awkward conversation, which makes her loads of fun at parties.