The American Cancer Society has reported an unprecedented decrease in the incidence and mortality rates of colon cancer among people aged 50-75. Rates have declined over 30 percent in the last 10 years, a fact primarily attributed to the widespread uptake of screening colonoscopies.
However, recent studies show that colon cancer incidence rates are on the rise in young adults.
New research from the University of California - Irvine found that, although colon cancer incidence rates are still relatively low in the 20-39 population, incidence rates in this age group have been steadily increasing over time in both young men and young women.
The study divided the two age groups into "screened" (aged 50-75) and "unscreened" (aged 20-39) populations. According to lead researchers, young adults were more likely to have an advanced stage at diagnosis. This fact emphasizes the impact of a lack of screening, as screening rates have shown a correlation to early detection.
The results of this study not only underscore the critical importance of screening and early detection, but may also suggest a need for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to reevaluate the recommended age for individuals to begin screening. These conversations have already started within several lawmaking entities, especially with regard to screening recommendations in African Americans, who show an even higher prevalence of young-onset colon cancer.
Other News From Around the Web
- Be Seen, Get Screened recently had the opportunity to feature a guest blog post from Laura Wehrly on her experience with early-onset colon cancer. Laura's son Jason battled colon cancer in his 30s, and Laura has been an advocate for young people with colon cancer ever since. You can read her inspiring story here.
- The Mayo Clinic has released a list of the most exciting innovations in gastroenterology to hit the market in 2014.
- The Hamilton Spectator encourages you not to wait for symptoms of colon cancer - get screened before they appear.
- Here's an awesome video on recent advancements in colon cancer screening and prevention from OncLive.
- Here's an article about how a patient's family history can alter the types and frequency of medical screening he or she needs - especially with regard to colon cancer.
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