About the YO-CRC Program

While colorectal cancer most commonly affects older adults, more and more people under 50 are being diagnosed. The exact reason for this is still unclear, but certain risk factors – including obesity, poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyle – are known to increase the risk of colon cancer.

Is YO-CRC treatment different from general colorectal cancer treatment?

While colorectal cancer is the same disease regardless of age, people under 50 who have young-onset colorectal cancer are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage, when the cancer is much more advanced. This means that the treatment for a young-onset colorectal cancer patient is often more aggressive than it would be for an older person.

How will a YO-CRC diagnosis affect my quality of life?

A colorectal cancer diagnosis can have a major impact on patient quality of life in a number of ways.

  • Physical: Treatment may cause patients to experience hair loss, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, decreased sexual function, infertility and changes in bowel movements.
  • Emotional: Receiving a diagnosis and going through treatment can take a heavy emotional toll, leading to feelings of anxiety and depression. Also, because younger people are often caregivers themselves for their parents or children, managing the weight of a colorectal cancer diagnosis on top of everything else can be very challenging.
  • Financial: Cancer can put a huge financial burden on patients and their families, both during and after treatment. Many patients have concerns about paying large bills, going into debt to pay for therapy and losing their jobs.

At Siteman, we understand the physical, emotional and financial difficulties that come with a colorectal cancer diagnosis and we’re committed to providing support to all patients and their families through treatment and recovery. Learn more about our patient and family services.

Our mission

Colorectal cancer treatment options are the same no matter the age of the patient. However, younger adults diagnosed with colorectal cancer face unique challenges. The Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer (YO-CRC) Program at Siteman is one of the first in the country to:

  • Focus exclusively on providing care for colorectal cancer patients under 50
  • Address concerns that are especially important to younger people

Why Siteman?

Our program offers an array of diagnostic services, genetic testing and support resources. Our multidisciplinary team comprises nationally renowned colorectal cancer experts who are committed to providing excellent clinical care. Additionally, a nurse coordinator is available to help schedule your appointments and answer any questions you may have through diagnosis and treatment.