MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — Cancer has made an impact on the lives of many — and one cancer is starting to become even more popular in younger individuals.

Colorectal Cancer, better known as Colon Cancer, is said to be the third most common cancer after breast and lung cancer. It is most commonly recognized by a tumor in the large intestine or the colon — which, if gone untreated, can lead to death. Recently, doctors across the country have noted that 10% of all individuals with colon cancer are now diagnosed before age 50.

“Colon cancer unfortunately is becoming more common — especially in the younger population,” says Trinity Health Oncologist Moayed Ibrahim, “and especially with the trendy processed foods that we are all guilty of consuming. Prevention is better than treatment.”

The observation of this cancer affecting those before the predicted age has caused a drop in the recommended age for a colonoscopy from 50 to 45.

“This is really interesting,” continues Ibrahim. “A lot of studies have been done, and we think it’s related to the nature of diets. As you know, obesity and processed food is a major risk factor for colon cancer.”.

Early symptoms of colon cancer are hard to notice on their own — which is why doctors recommend getting a colonoscopy as soon as you are able. If you are not thrilled about receiving a colonoscopy, a stool test can be an alternative.

“That’s when treatment is curative,” Ibrahim explains, “so if you detect it early, you can cure it. Unfortunately, if it is advanced there’s no cure, but we can put it in remission.”

If the growth of colon cancer remains at its current pace, Quality Health Associates of North Dakota states that evidence would suggest that the disease will be the leading cause of cancer-related deaths by 2040 in adults ages 20 to 49.