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Colorectal Cancer Rates Rising Among the Young - medtigo

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Colorectal Cancer Rates Rising Among the Young

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According to the American Cancer Society’s Colorectal Cancer Statistics 2023, cases of colorectal cancer in those under 55 are on the rise, as are diagnoses of advanced-stage colorectal cancer.  

In the United States, colorectal cancer is the second-highest cause of cancer-related death and the main cause of cancer in men under the age of 50. Yet, more than half of all colorectal cancer diagnoses are likely attributable to modifiable risk factors, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, an unhealthy diet, obesity, and lack of physical activity.  

The American Cancer Society updates the incidence and mortality rates of colorectal cancer every three years in order to monitor and track the condition. This year’s report, published on 1 March in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, as well as a consumer-friendly edition titled Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures 2023-2025, revealed a number of significant findings regarding colorectal cancer rates in the United States.  

Researchers estimate that 153,020 new cases of colorectal cancer will be identified in the United States in 2023, with 52,550 deaths attributable to the disease. In addition, the data suggests that men may be at a greater risk than women since men had a 33% higher incidence of this form of cancer than women between 2015 and 2019.  

Moreover, Alaska Natives, Native Americans, and Blacks also had higher rates of colorectal cancer. In addition, occurrences of colorectal cancer were highest in portions of the South, Midwest, and Appalachians and lowest in the West.  

In addition, the incidence of colorectal cancer in individuals younger than 55 nearly doubled between 1995 and 2019. In 1995, around one in ten people in this age range were diagnosed with colorectal cancer; in 2019, this proportion has decreased to one in twenty.  

The statistics also revealed fluctuations in the frequency of patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer at an advanced stage. During the middle of the twenty-first century, approximately 52 percent of patients were diagnosed with regional or distant-stage cancer. Yet, in 2019, 60% were late-stage diagnoses.  

Nonetheless, death rates from this type of cancer decreased by 2% to 3% per year for all racial groups. In addition, by 2021, 59% of adults aged 45 and older had undergone current colorectal cancer screenings.  

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From 2018, the American Cancer Society has suggested that all individuals in this age group undertake one of the approved screening tests. They include colonoscopy, computed tomographic colonography (CTC) scans, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and stool tests, including the fecal immunochemical test (FIT), the high-sensitivity guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT), and the FIT-DNA test (Cologuard®).  

Colonoscopy is regarded as the gold standard because it can detect and remove polyps, despite being more intrusive than other screening procedures. Rebecca Siegel, senior scientific director and surveillance research at the American Cancer Society is quoted in a news release as saying, “We are aware that rates are rising among young people, but it is alarming to see how quickly the entire patient population is becoming younger, despite the overall population declining.

The trend toward more advanced disease in people of all ages is also unexpected and should drive those aged 45 and older to undergo screening.” To ensure that all individuals have access to colorectal screening, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized in November 2022 a Medicare rule allowing coverage of colonoscopies following the use of a non-invasive screening test. Moreover, the rule reduced the minimum age for screening to 45. 

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