Colorectal cancer in 18- to 49-year-olds: rising rates, presentation, and outcome in a large integrated health system

Post written by Nimish Vakil, MD, from the Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, and the Department of Gastroenterology, Advocate Aurora Health, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.


Colon cancer is rising in young people and the cause is unknown. There is little information on outcomes in this group.

Colorectal cancer is increasing at similar rates in young people aged 18 to 44 and 45 to 49, and they are more likely than older individuals to present with advanced disease requiring multimodality treatment. The outcome remains good because young people can tolerate multimodality treatment. Young patients presenting with changes in bowel habit, anemia, rectal bleeding, and weight loss should undergo colonoscopy. Special attention is needed for rectal and anal symptoms as these can be an indication of a rectal cancer. In our study, risk factors were obesity, a family history of colon cancer, and Hispanic or African American heritage. Further research is need on the 18-45-year-old patients with colorectal cancer.


Read the full article online.

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