Health experts say colon and rectal rates have been steadily declining for several decades in older adults. Hence, diagnostic a young person with either one of the conditions has been considered extremely unlikely. Until recently, that is. Unfortunately, new evidence suggests colon and rectal cancer incidence has started to increase among individuals who are still in their 20s or 30s, signaling an ominous trend.
Usually, colon and rectal cancer affect elderly people. In the worst-case scenario, adults with ages of 50 receive the devastating news, but not younger. Hence, nearly 90 percent of all cases are linked to patients well past their second youth.
However, a new study published on Tuesday, February 28th, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, provided by the American Cancer Society, contradicts past theories, as only elderly are more predisposed to the dreadful condition. Even though colon and rectal cancer prevalence dropped considerably for individuals born between 1890 and 1950, it seems the condition is making its comeback for people born after the 50s. More troubling is the fact that experts have no clue why that is.
For 2017, the American Cancer Society has a dire prediction. Experts believe 13,500 new cases of colon and rectal cancer will emerge this year, with most of the patients under 50 years of age. Individually, colon cancer will most likely affect approximately 95,500 individuals and rectal cancer will claim 40,000 new patients nationwide, added the researchers.
“People born in 1990, like my son, have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer”, said American Cancer Society’s epidemiologist, Rebecca Siegel, lead author of the study.
Moreover, even though the risk of developing either one of the fatal conditions, the threat is carried forward with the young patients as they age, Rebecca Siegel added. In comparison, five per million people born in the 1990s faced high risk of colon cancer, as opposed to 3 per million people of the same age group but born in the 1950s. Furthermore, up from 0.9 per million born in the 1950s, the risk of rectal cancer for those born in the 90s was four per million, revealed scientists.
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