Reaching Young People with the Realities of Colorectal Cancer

Symptom Awareness to Save Lives


MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The number of colorectal cancer cases being diagnosed in young adults is on the rise. This holiday season the Colon Cancer Coalition is making the education of adults under 50 about the signs and symptoms of this disease a priority. Now through January 15, 2018, the symptoms of colorectal cancer are being highlighted in 1,624 square feet of lights in Times Square, New York City.

While one in 20 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime, one in 10 of those patients will be diagnosed before they reach the age of 50, the recommended screening age for colorectal cancer. And the number of young onset colorectal cancer cases is growing. The American Cancer Society estimated that approximately 13,500 new cases of colon and rectal cancers would be diagnosed in adults under the age of 50 in 2017.

Accompanied by the true story of a young women diagnosed while in college with colon cancer at the age of 23, the video message at 1500 Broadway boldly proclaims: BLOOD IN YOUR STOOL, Not Normal. UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT LOSS, Not Normal. Don’t Ignore Colon Cancer Symptoms. The 10-second message will be showcased a minimum of three times each hour throughout the busy holiday season, including the Thanksgiving festivities, holiday shopping, and the not-to-be-missed New Year’s Eve celebration.

“Young people are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer at an alarming rate,” says Anne Carlson, executive director of the Colon Cancer Coalition. “By reaching young adults during this busy time of year and encouraging them to take control of their health by learning the signs and symptoms of this cancer, we hope to help young people be diagnosed when the disease is most treatable and save lives.”

Colorectal cancer screening should begin for most average risk adults at age 50 and earlier for African Americans and those with family history. Many screening options are available including colonoscopy and several inexpensive tests that can be done in the privacy of your own home. Colorectal cancer is extremely treatable when diagnosed in the earliest stages. Individuals of all ages experiencing symptoms should talk with their doctors about screening options right for them.

Signs and Symptoms of colorectal cancer:

  • Blood in your stool or in the toilet after a bowel movement.
  • A change in bowel habits.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Anemia.
  • Unexplained fatigue.
  • Cramping or other abdominal pain.

To learn more about colorectal cancer, including the signs and symptoms, and finding resources and medical professionals, visit

About the Colon Cancer Coalition

The Colon Cancer Coalition is a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis, Minn. dedicated to encouraging screening and raising awareness of colon cancer. The organization’s signature Get Your Rear in Gear® and Tour de Tush® event series are volunteer-driven in communities throughout the United States. Since 2004, over $5 million dollars have been granted by the Colon Cancer Coalition to build and sustain programs that promote early prevention, screening, and patient support services for this disease. By making the words colon, colorectal and colonoscopy a part of the everyday language, we believe we can overcome the fear and decrease deaths from this largely preventable cancer. For more information visit

Note to editors: Video files, still photographs, and interviews with colorectal cancer patients diagnosed under the age of 50, the Colon Cancer Coalition executive director, and others are available upon request.


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

The Colon Cancer Coalition's message to young adults: symptoms of colorectal cancer are not normal. If you experience any symptoms it is important to talk to a doctor.  Blood in your stool is not normal. If you experience any symptoms of colorectal cancer, no matter you age, talk to a doctor.

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