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Younger Adults are Diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer Now More Than Ever

Younger Adults Colon Cancer

Younger adults are being diagnosed with late-stage colorectal cancer at a higher rate than ever before. USA Today reported the findings of a new study – which showed that rates of colorectal cancer in people under 50 are rising.

The study was published in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention journal in January 2022. The study aimed to find the rate of colorectal cancer diagnosis in different age groups, as well as different races.

Of the findings, the most significant increases in the rate of colorectal cancer over time were the 20 to 29-year-olds. That age group saw an increase of 133% – and the diagnosis was made at a stage where the cancer had already metastasized. When colorectal cancer is diagnosed at a later stage, the treatment is more aggressive and the chance of recovery is smaller.

The study found that there was an increase in rates of colorectal cancer in many of the age groups that were studied, including:

  • Ages 20-29
  • Ages 30-39
  • Ages 40-49

There was also a significant increase in colorectal rates for non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics in the 20-29 age group.

Dr. David Karlitz, the chief of gastroenterology at the Denver Health Medical Center, indicated that the results of this study underline the importance of getting screened for colorectal cancer on time. Recent recommendations have lowered the age to 45 – an age that Dr. Karlitz supports.

Colorectal cancer is highly preventable with appropriate screening. Studies like these can help guide doctors in identifying which people should start screening at a younger age – for example, those with family history.

It’s important to start getting regular colonoscopies when you are 45. If you have certain risk factors, like family history or a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease, you may need to start sooner.

Don’t delay – schedule your colonoscopy today!

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