UnityPoint responding to colon cancer rise among young people

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UnityPoint Health is taking steps to address an alarming trend among younger people: a rise in colon cancer cases among those under the age of 50.

Colon cancer, once predominantly associated with older age groups, is now increasingly diagnosed in younger individuals. That highlights the urgent need for awareness and early detection. Nearly double the number of young adults are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer today compared to a decade ago. More are dying from the disease each year, according to the American Cancer Society.

Thanks to grant support from the Iowa Cancer Consortium, UnityPoint Health and Gilda’s Club Quad Cities, UnityPoint is offering free at-home colon cancer screening kits to identify cancer early and increase people’s treatment options and survival rates. The kits are available to Iowa residents in Louisa, Muscatine and Scott counties.

The at-home screening kits are quick and easy. They take only minutes from the comfort of your home. Use of the screening kits should be repeated yearly. Call (309) 779-5796 to request a free at-home screening kit.

UnityPoint Health recommends those who are at average risk begin regular screenings at age 45. If you have a family history of colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, starting earlier may be recommended. Always consult with your provider.

Early detection is key

“Early detection is the key to overcoming colon cancer. Screening saves lives by catching the disease when it’s most treatable,” Dr. Mitch McKenzie, general surgeon at UnityPoint Health, said in a news release. “Colon cancer doesn’t wait, and neither should you. Take the proactive step towards better health with regular screenings. Your future self will thank you.”

Colon cancer screening not only helps detect tumors earlier, when they are more easily treatable, but it also prevents cancer formation when polyps can be removed before they have a chance to grow into cancer.

To learn more about cancer services at Trinity Cancer Center, visit unitypoint.org.

“The rise in colon cancer rates among younger adults is a concerning trend that requires immediate attention,” said Dr. Shrey Modi, colon and rectal surgeon at UnityPoint Health. “At UnityPoint Health, we’re committed to addressing this issue head-on by implementing proactive measures to improve early detection, provide specialized care and raise awareness within the Quad Cities and Muscatine community.”

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