FRIDAY, March 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality are continuing to decline among adults aged 65 years and older but are increasing among younger adults, according to a study published online March 5 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Rebecca L. Siegel, M.P.H., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues describe updated CRC occurrence based on incidence and mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

The researchers found that approximately 147,950 individuals will be diagnosed with CRC in 2020 and 53,200 will die from the disease, including 17,930 cases and 3,640 deaths among individuals <50 years. Rapid declines in incidence during the 2000s continued during 2011 through 2016 among those aged 65 years and older (3.3 percent annually), but there was an increase among those aged 50 to 64 years (1 percent annually). The incidence rate increased by about 2 percent annually among individuals aged younger than 50 years for tumors in the proximal and distal colon and the rectum; these trends were driven by non-Hispanic whites. During 2008 to 2017, CRC death rates declined 3 and 0.6 percent annually among those aged ≥65 years and 50 to 64 years, respectively, while they increased 1.3 percent annually among those <50 years.

“More timely diagnosis among younger patients remains critical while we await answers to why CRC incidence is rising in young and middle-aged adults,” Siegel said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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