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Rates Of Colorectal Cancer On The Rise Among Younger Adults

A new study on the colorectal cancer trends in the U.S. shows that the rates among people below 50 years have been rising since the 1970s. According to the findings, diagnoses of the disease among younger adults are likely to be of the disease at an advanced stage.

Diagnoses Are Common in People below 50 Years

Dr. Boone Goodgame, an assistant oncology professor based at the University of Texas, and other researchers carried out a study that focuses on recent trends. After going through the National Cancer Database registry, they discovered that 12.2 percent of colorectal cancer diagnoses across the United States in 2015 were in individuals below 50 years unlike only 10 percent in 2004.  

While the diagnoses among younger adults rose at the same rate at all income levels, the highest earners had the highest percentage of diagnoses.

How Colorectal Cancer Develops

Colorectal Cancer results from the abnormal growth of cells in the rectum or colon where they form a tumor. Initially, the cancer may start as a small growth or polyp on the inner layer of the rectum or colon.

Most polyps don’t develop into cancer, but those that become cancerous can take years to reach such a stage. If a polyp becomes cancerous, it may invade other sections of the rectum or colon wall. Afterward, cancer cells can disintegrate and move through lymph or blood vessels to other body organs and create secondary tumors.

Colorectal Cancer Deaths Have Been Declining

In 2019, the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that 145,600 people will have colorectal cancer, and out of this number, 51,020 will die. For years, mortality rate from colorectal cancer across the United States has been declining among men and women.

To date, over one million individuals in the U.S. have survived this cancer. According to the ACS, the possible drop in colorectal cancer deaths is due to improved treatment and screening. In other words, going for earlier diagnosis increases the possibility of successful treatment.

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