Actress Audrey Hepburn, of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" fame, died of colon cancer in 1993 at age 64. Elizabeth Montgomery — who played Samantha on the sitcom "Bewitched" — also succumbed to the disease in 1995 at age 63.
They were young. But these days, the disease is appearing in even younger women.
Overall, women’s risk of developing colon cancer is about one in 25. But for those ages 20 to 39, rates have been increasing since the mid-1980s; and since the mid-1990s, women ages 40 to 54 have experienced the steepest increase.
We may now know one important factor that's fueling the higher risk for younger women: sugary beverages.
A new study in the journal Gut found that women who said they drank two or more servings a day of sugary beverages as an adolescent or young adult were at a 200% increased risk for early onset colon cancer compared to women who reported drinking less than one 8 oz. serving a week when they were young.
And if the women drank a sweet beverage every day from ages 13 to 18 (and millions of kids do), each daily serving was associated with a 32% increased risk of developing colon cancer before the age of 50.
Even if you've given up sodas (and bravo to that), energy or sports drinks, fruit juices, and hyped-up flavored coffees or ice teas can put you and your young daughters at risk.
Instead, drink water, plain coffee, and tea to wash away your increased risk for colon cancer.