FRIDAY, May 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Colorectal cancer incidence is increasing among young adults in certain high-income countries, according to a study published online May 16 in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

Marzieh Araghi, Ph.D., from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, and colleagues obtained data for the incidence of colon and rectal cancer from 21 population-based cancer registries. Trends in incidence were examined by age group, period, and birth cohort.

The researchers noted an overall decline or stabilization in the incidence of colon and rectal cancer in all studied countries. Significant increases were seen in the incidence of colon cancer in people younger than 50 years in Denmark, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom (3.1, 2.9, 2.9, and 1.8 percent, respectively) in the most recent 10-year period. Increases in the incidence of rectal cancer were also seen in this age group in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom (3.4, 2.6, and 1.4 percent, respectively). For people aged 50 to 74 years, significant decreases were noted in the incidence of colon cancer in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand (1.6, 1.9, and 3.4 percent, respectively) and in rectal cancer incidence in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom (2.4, 1.2, and 1.2 percent, respectively).

“Our findings are of concern and highlight the need for action to counteract the rising burden of the disease in younger people,” Araghi said in a statement.

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