New York: Incidents of rectal cancer among people below 40 years have been rising steadily in the past two decades and doctors are failing to diagnose it early, saysa new research.Rectal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the rectum -- the last six to eight inches of the large intestine which stores solid waste.Possible signs of rectal cancer include a change in bowel habits or blood in the stool.
While colon cancer rates remained essentially flat in individuals under age 40 years in recent decades, rectal cancer rates have been increasing since 1984, they observed.Specifically, between 1984 and 2005, the rate of rectal cancer diagnosis rose 3.8 percent per year and the increase was the same for all races and both sexes, they found.According to the scientists, the first symptoms of the disease is rectal bleeding, which doctors often assume as the result of hemorrhoids and fail to diagnose it quickly. Othersymptoms of rectal cancer include a change in bowel habits, anaemia, weight loss and diarrhoea.Although the scientists were unable so far to pin point what causes the disease, they said risk factors for the cancer include a family history of the disease, obesity, smoking,heavy alcohol use, a diet high in red meat and low in vegetables, and insufficient intake of vitamin D.Meanwhile, the authors do not advocate for a change in screening guidelines as the overall incidence of rectal cancer is relatively low. PTI
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