Average Number Of Colorectal Cancer Cases Rising Among Young Adults - Survey

First Posted: Mar 02, 2017 05:07 AM EST

The American Cancer Society along with the National Cancer Institute conducted a survey on the average number of colorectal cancer occurrences and the mortality rate associated with the disease. The study analyzed the data collected from 500,000 cases reported between 1974 and 2013.

It was found that the average number of colorectal cancer cases reported in older adults (above the age of 50) has gradually decreased from 226 per 100,000 people in 1985 to 117 in 2013. However, it was also observed that the number has doubled from one to two cases in young adults below the age of 30. Thankfully, a proportionate increase was not observed in the associated mortality rates, but these figures in themselves are alarming, CNN reported.

Rebecca Siegel, epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, explained that the decreasing number of incidences of the disease in older adults is largely attributed to the regular screening and testing involving colonoscopy, which can detect and cure the cancer at the earliest. However, most people in their early 30's or 40's who get diagnosed with colorectal cancer are in advanced stages, which make their treatment and recovery more difficult.

Further analysis on what could be the factor that contributes to the increased risk of occurrence of colorectal cancer in young adults revealed that the changing trend is multifactorial and includes genetic, lifestyle and other factors. These factors include the urge of not seeking medical treatment at the earliest.

According to FOX 8, though colonoscopy is highly effective in diagnosing and thereby treating colorectal cancer, most young adults often ignore the symptoms and refrain from getting tested. When the disease spreads, the symptoms become too intense to ignore. They do get tested. But by that time, the cancer has already metastasized.

Dr. Joann Kwah, expert gastroenterologist from Montefiore, recommends that early diagnosis of colon polyps before they turn cancerous is the most effective method of preventing and treating colorectal cancer.

Medical experts also recommend that people, irrespective of age, if experiencing symptoms like persistent constipation and blood in stool, should immediately get a colonoscopy screening, rather than neglecting it as a hemorrhoid.

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