Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Awareness

​The Never Too Young Coalition is united to take on young-onset colorectal cancer through action, education and research

You’re young. You’re brave. And you’re not alone.
Colon cancer has become a reality for many younger than age 50, and it’s the only population where incidence rates are on the rise. We joined with a group of renowned researchers to create a white paper, outlining data and hard facts around this issue.

Read Our White Paper

Call our Helpline! 877.422.2030
Here’s what we found: 
  • In the US, approximately 10% of colon cancer cases are diagnosed in individuals under age 50.
  • Colon cancer incidence and mortality rates are increasing in the young-onset population while decreasing in those over 50.
  • Young-onset rectal cancer incidence has increased at nearly twice the rate of young-onset colon cancer.
  • Young-onset colon cancer has a preference for the distal colon (the segment of your colon right before the rectum begins) or rectum and often presents at a later stage.
  • Screening is recommended to start earlier than age 50 in those with a family history of colon cancer or advanced adenomas (noncancerous tumors), and in those with hereditary genetic syndromes associated with increased risk. Patients with inflammatory bowel disease or other conditions increasing risk may also benefit from close follow-up.
  • Individuals under 50 who have symptoms that may be consistent with colon cancer need to seek medical attention so the appropriate testing can be done and deserve a prompt and thorough examination.
  • Physician-related delays (e.g., missed symptoms, initial misdiagnosis) have been estimated to occur in 15-50% of young-onset colon cancer cases.*
  • Discussions of lowering the screening age for the average-risk population have begun. As it stands, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) feels there is insufficient evidence for lowering the screening age to 40 years in the average-risk population.

In honor of Jason Johnson
JayWalkers participate in memory of Jason Johnson to continue to work to raise awareness in both the public and among medical professionals about the phenomenon of young onset colorectal cancer and open access to early diagnosis and support for those who, like Jason, are diagnosed so young.  As we know, this cancer is curable, but only when diagnosed early. The funds we raise will go to the Never Too Young campaign, helping with prevention, early detection and treatment for this disease.

Please support our efforts to raise awareness about the growing phenomenon of young onset colorectal cancer!  JayWalkers annually participate in the Twin Cities Get Your Rear In Gear 5K Run/Walk & Tour de Tush, an event to benefit the Colon Cancer Coalition. The JayWalkers have been a top fundraising team and or have had the top individual fundraiser since they have been on the scene. Our second year, after I had learned Jason's experience with colon cancer wasn't as rare as we had been led to believe, I had some statistics and facts I presented to that crowd. I saw shocked faces, even heard gasps of surprise from people who are involved enough to participate in the colon cancer event.  We have a lot more work to do!

- Laura Wehrly, Jason's Mother
"Highwayman" - Highwaymen
(originally by Jimmy Webb)

[Willie Nelson:]
I was a highwayman
Along the coach roads I did ride
With sword and pistol by my side
Many a young maid lost her baubles to my trade
Many a soldier shed his lifeblood on my blade
The bastards hung me in the spring of twenty-five
But I am still alive

[Kris Kristofferson:]
I was a sailor
I was born upon the tide
And with the sea I did abide
I sailed a schooner round the Horn to Mexico
I went aloft and furled the mainsail in a blow
And when the yards broke off they said that I got killed
But I am living still

[Waylon Jennings:]
I was a dam builder
Across the river deep and wide
Where steel and water did collide
A place called Boulder on the wild Colorado
I slipped and fell into the wet concrete below
They buried me in that great tomb that knows no sound
But I am still around
I'll always be around, and around and around and around and around...

[Johnny Cash:]
I'll fly a starship
Across the Universe divide
And when I reach the other side
I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can
Perhaps I may become a highwayman again
Or I may simply be a single drop of rain
But I will remain
And I'll be back again, and again and again and again and again...
"What man is a man who does not make the world better"
- Balian de Ibelin, Kingdom of Heaven


National Cancer Institute State Cancer Profiles
Young & Brave Colon Cancer Alliance. (2016). Know The Facts. Retrieved from the-facts/