In a study of more than 103,000 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer between 2000 and 2016, people between 20 and 39 years old had the steepest increase in distant-stage (advanced) early-onset (before age 50) colorectal cancer. The biggest increase in proportion of colon cancers that were distant stage occurred in Blacks in their 20s and the biggest increases in the proportion of rectal cancers that were distant stage occurred in Blacks in their 20s and 30s and in Hispanics in their 20s.
“Although the increasing burden of early-onset colorectal cancer affects all races, these increases seem to be particularly prominent in the youngest non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic subgroups, although absolute case counts remain relatively low,” said researcher Jordan Karlitz, MD, of the University of Colorado (pictured above).
Since individuals under 45 are not eligible for routine colorec tal cancer screening, “it is imperative that we stratify young individuals for early testing based on symptoms and family history,” Karlitz noted.
- See “Younger Individuals May Have the Highest Risk of Presenting with Distant-stage Colorectal Cancer” on the American Association for Cancer Research website (January 26, 2022)
- See the abstract of the scientific paper “Shifts in the Proportion of Distant Stage Early-Onset Colorectal Adenocarcinoma in the United States” by Eric M Montminy et al.