Should You Get A Colonoscopy In Your 30s? 3 Myths About Colorectal Cancer

  • General Health
  • cancer - colonoscopy
  • November 14, 2023

Getting a colonoscopy earlier in life can reduce the risk of a late-stage diagnosis of colorectal cancer, a condition increasingly attracting younger patients.

Younger People May Need Colonoscopies

In the United States, colorectal cancer is a common cancer diagnosis in both men and women. While the disease is most commonly diagnosed in people over 50, cancer can occur at any age. Taking steps to prevent or detect colorectal cancer early on is critical. Many younger patients are increasingly wondering if a colonoscopy is necessary.


Earlier detection

A colonoscopy is an effective way to detect colorectal cancer early. The screening test allows a doctor to examine the inside of the colon and rectum for signs of cancer or pre-cancerous polyps. Getting a colonoscopy earlier in life is becoming more common for many reasons, but several myths about colorectal cancer exist that might be causing a person to hesitate.

1. Colorectal cancer only affects older people

The reality is that colorectal cancer can occur at any age. While the condition is more common in people over 50, a diagnosis at a young age is not uncommon. The rate of colorectal cancer in people under 50 has been increasing in recent years. The alarming increase of colorectal cancer in younger patients is why all individuals, regardless of age, should be aware of the potential risks and take steps to prevent or detect the disease earlier in life.

2. Colorectal cancer is not preventable

While the actual cause of colorectal cancer is unknown, several risk factors can increase the chances of developing the disease. Risk factors include a diet high in red and processed meats, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and a family history of colorectal cancer. By making lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking, a patient at risk for the disease can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

3. The procedure is painful

Colonoscopies can be somewhat uncomfortable, but the procedure is generally not painful. During a colonoscopy, the patient will be given a sedative for relaxation and conscious or twilight anesthesia. Most people report that the procedure is not particularly painful, and any discomfort usually goes away once the sedative takes effect.

Symptoms to watch for

Rectal bleeding, blood in the stool, bloating, changes in stool shape or size, weight loss, and fatigue are all possible symptoms of colorectal cancer. Even if a patient does not have a family history of cancer, speaking with a doctor early on about potential symptoms of colorectal cancer is essential to avoid a late-stage diagnosis.

Colonoscopy in the 30s

For some people, a colonoscopy at a young age may be worth considering. While colorectal cancer is more common in older people, rates of the condition have started to rise in younger patients. By getting a colonoscopy earlier in life, a person can detect potential problems and take steps to prevent or treat the disease.

Share This Content!

Ready to go viral?