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As colorectal cancer rate falls, diagnosis of late-stage cancer in young patients is up


The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends that colorectal cancer (CRC) screening begin at age 50. This means that less is known about the occurrence of the disease in people under age 50. Unfortunately, one thing that is known is that while the overall rate of colorectal cancer continues to decrease, the incidence of the disease in patients under 50 is, in fact, on the rise. A University of Colorado Cancer Center study presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2016 seeks to understand this rise in a regional sample of 39,575 patients, finding that in Colorado patients over 50, the rate of CRC is falling at 2.5 percent per year while the rate of CRC in patients under 50 is rising at 0.8 percent per year. The increase in incidence appeared to be driven mostly by an increase in late-stage CRC in the under-50 population with an increase of 2.4 percent per year from 2003 through 2013.

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