KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — The incidence of bowel cancer among people below 50 in the United States rose by a fifth from 2004 to 2015, a study showed.
Daily Mail reported that the study by the University of Texas at Austin, which analysed figures from the US’ National Cancer Database registry, found that the percentage of bowel cancer (also known as colorectal cancer) cases among those aged below 50 in the US increased from 10 per cent in 2004 to 12.2 per cent in 2015.
The research found that more and more people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s were getting diagnosed with colorectal cancer, a disease that was traditionally thought to affect people over 50.
Between 2004 and 2015, 130,165 patients below the age of 50 and 1,055,598 patients above 50 were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, according to the study published in the journal Cancer.
Newsweek reported that more than half, or 51.6 per cent, of younger patients with colorectal cancer were diagnosed at the late stages of three or four, compared to 40 per cent of those aged above 50.
“Several studies have shown that the rates of colorectal cancer in younger have risen slowly in the US since the 1970s, but for practicing physicians, it feels like we are seeing more and more with colorectal cancer now than we were even 10 years ago,” lead researcher Dr Boone Goodgame was quoted saying.
“Until just last year, guidelines recommended colon cancer screening beginning at 50. Now many guidelines do recommend screening at age 45, but most physicians and patients don’t appear to be following those recommendations.”
Dr Goodgame reportedly said the cause of the rising colorectal cancer incidence among younger people was unclear. Daily Mail reported that emerging research suggested a possible combination of people becoming more overweight and gut bacteria changes.