East End Gastroentrology & Hepatology
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Early-onset colorectal cancer is occurring at an increasing rate, and the reality is that you’re never too young to be at risk. As colon cancer becomes more common in younger adults, including people in their 20s and 30s. There are a couple of things you need to know about this trend.

Signs and Symptoms

Young-onset colorectal cancer is often diagnosed too late because many people are unaware that the symptoms that they are having could be signs of something as serious as cancer. According to a recent study, the four most common signs of colon cancer in young adults are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Rectal Bleeding
  • Iron-Deficiency Anemia

However, it’s important to be aware that many people with colon cancer don't have symptoms at first. When symptoms appear, they'll likely depend on the cancer's size and where it is in the large intestine. In general, the most common symptoms of colon cancer can include:

  • A change in bowel habits, such as more frequent diarrhea or constipation.
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool.
  • Ongoing discomfort in the belly area, such as cramps, gas, bloating, or pain.
  • A feeling that the bowel doesn't empty all the way during a bowel movement.
  • Weakness or tiredness.
  • Losing weight without trying.

When to see a Doctor

Don’t assume anything. If you have experienced any digestive symptoms described above, you should get checked out, even in your 20s or 30s. Don’t think you’re too busy with school, work, or raising a family to see a digestive health specialist for symptoms.

Some people have no symptoms at all, so it’s important to talk to your primary care doctor or a gastroenterologist if colorectal cancer or a history of polyps runs in your family.

If you are a young adult concerned about your digestive symptoms or have a family history of colorectal cancer, contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mark Coronel.

You are never too young or too healthy to see a GI doctor.

At East End Gastroenterology your health matters!

Don't let your digestive issues hold you back, call or click to schedule an appointment.

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Know the Facts

  • Among adults under 50, colorectal cancer is now the #1 cause of cancer death in men and the #2 cause in women. This is a significant change from its 4th-place ranking in 1998.
  • The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2024, 1 in 5 colorectal cancer patients are 20-54 years old in the United States.
  • If you were born between 1981 and 1996, you face twice the risk of colorectal cancer as compared to people born in 1950.
  • The NIH expects the incidence of early-age onset (EAO) CRC — diagnoses under age 50 — to increase by more than 140% by 2030.
  • Colonoscopy is considered the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening. It is the only method that allows for identifying and removing precancerous polyps in the same setting.

Risk Factors

A risk factor is anything that raises your chances of getting a disease, such as colon cancer. However, having a risk factor does not mean that you will get the disease. It’s essential to be aware of the risk factors and understand which you can control and which you cannot.

You’re In Control

Many lifestyle-related factors have been linked to colorectal cancer. More than half of all colorectal cancers are linked to risk factors that can be changed. The most common risk factors you can control are:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Diabetes (Type 2)
  • Dietary Habits
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Exercise

You Cannot Change

While you can’t change your genetics, it may be possible to lower your risk of developing colon cancer by being aware of how these factors can affect your level of risk and discussing your family health history with your doctor.

  • Age
  • Racial and ethnic background
  • Sex at birth
  • A personal history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer
  • A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease
  • A family history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
  • Having an inherited syndrome, such as Lynch syndrome

To learn more about this disease, you are encouraged to view our colon cancer webpage.


Colon cancer is one of the more treatable cancers. You can be cured, especially if you catch it early. When colon cancer is detected in a localized stage and has not spread outside of the colon or rectum, the 5-year survival rate is 91%.

Lower your risk. Take control of the risk factors you can change by eating healthier, less processed foods, limiting alcohol consumption, not smoking, and exercising regularly.

Additionally, it’s essential to be aware of your family health history, not ignore digestive symptoms, and discuss these topics with your doctor when applicable.

Remember, if you experience persistent digestive problems, it's always best to consult a GI doctor. The Internet can be a helpful tool, but it shouldn't replace professional medical advice. For proper gut health, it's best to consult a real doctor!

If you’re concerned about your digestive health, you can schedule an appointment online or call our office at 631-591-3000.

Locate Us

Riverhead Office

715 Roanoke ave, Building B, Riverhead, NY 11901

Manorville Office & Endoscopy Center

287 Wading River Road Unit 2 Manorville, NY 11949