Colon cancer continues to rise among America’s youngest adults. The American Cancer Society reports that in the fourth century the number of cases among those younger than 50 years has doubled.
In addition, a significantly higher number of Americans are diagnosed with advanced stages of the disease, according to the entity.
Since 2019, 20% of colon cancer cases have occurred in adults younger than 55, up from 11% in 1995, according to a new report.
In addition, the researchers found that the proportion of people diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer reached 60% in 2019, up from 52% in the mid-2000s. More advanced disease was 57% in 1995, before screening tests were created.
Cancer experts are puzzled, especially when the numbers in the general population are declining.
“We don’t know what’s causing the rise in colorectal cancer among young people,” said senior researcher Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, senior vice president of science surveillance and health equity at the Cancer Society.
“There is a lot of research to be done. Some say that it is likely that the big pain or purity changes in the next decades could be the cause, but we don’t really know the exact reasons for this rapid increase in cancer incidence rates.
By 2023, more than 153,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer, and 52,550 will die from the disease, the researchers wrote.
The best protection against colon cancer is screening, Jemal emphasized.
The Cancer Society recommends screening from age 45 for people at average risk. But Jemal noted that only 4 in 10 adults objected.
Continue reading the story
“If we increased colorectal cancer screening to 80%, we estimate that tens of thousands of cases could be prevented and thousands of lives could be saved,” he said.
Your doctor may give you a stool blood test or refer you for a screening colonoscopy, Jemal said. The benefit of the colonization was that it should be done once every 10 years, but the second one should be done every year.
Barriers to screening include not having insurance and having your primary care doctor not recommend screening, he said.
Although younger adults are developing colon cancer, Jemal doesn’t anticipate a lower recommended screening age.
“It is very likely, because the analysis will be effective, and among all the cases of colorectal cancer that occur before the age of 50, 43% occur between the ages of 45 and 49. It is very likely to do it before the elderly, what benefit would it have,” Jemal said.
Dr. John Ricci, chief of colorectal surgery at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Great Neck, NY, said many patients today are being treated for small colon cancer.
“It was almost unheard of to see a person in their 30s with colon cancer, and now we see it quite often, unfortunately,” Ricci said.
Patients should know their family history, Ricci said.
“Not only about the family history of cancer, but also about the high risk of polyps,” he emphasized. If the relatives had more than three polyps, or large polyps, the person should have an early colonoscopy, Ricci said. Polyps can turn into cancer if not removed.
Changes in bowel habits and bleeding, which are symptoms of colon cancer, should be evaluated by your gastroenterologist. “With cancer symptoms
Doctors should recommend screening, and patients should be proactive in asking their doctor about screening, he added.
“You need to know that colorectal cancer is not a disease of the elderly,” Ricci emphasized. “Now it’s a disease of middle age. And apparently not enough people are covered for it.”
In the report, Jemal’s team used data available through 2019 from the 50 states and the District of Columbia, from the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
They found colon cancer incidence and related deaths dropped from 3 to 4% in the early 2000s to 1 and 2% per year, respectively, in the past decade.
Colon cancer rates were 33% higher in men (41.5 per 100,000) than in women (31 per 100,000) from 2015 to 2019, likely due to differences in risk factors such as body weight consumption, processed meat consumption and smoking, researchers note. .
Rates of colon cancer decreased in those aged 65 and older, and leveled off between the ages of 50 and 64, but increased by 2 percent in those younger than 50 years and in those aged 50 to 54 years.
In addition, colon cancer deaths have increased since around 2005, by 1% a year in men older than 50, and by about 1% in men 50 to 54, the researchers said.
The highest rates of colon cancer were in Alaska Natives (88.5 per 100,000), American Indians (46 per 100,000), and black people (41.7 per 100,000). Among white men the incidence is 35.7 per 100,000. Mortality patterns are similar, and are highest among Alaska Natives, Americans, and Black people.
The report was published online March 1 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
Lots of information
Learn more about colon cancer at the American Cancer Society.
Article by HealthDay, translated by HelloDoctor.com
SOURCES: Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD, senior vice president, health care and equity science, American Cancer Society; John Ricci, MD, chief, colorectal surgery, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Great Neck, NY; CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, online, March 1, 2023