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More Younger People Getting Colon Cancer

More Younger People Getting Colon Cancer
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By    |   Monday, 25 January 2016 11:43 AM

More people are developing colon cancer at a younger-than-expected age, a new study finds.

Ninety percent of colon cancer cases occur in people age 50 and older, the age at which screening begins, statistics say. But a new analysis shows that nearly 15 percent of patients diagnosed with the disease are younger than that.

This year, an estimated 132,700 adults in the U.S. will be diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer, which is the fourth most common form for cancer, and second leading cause of cancer death for men and women combined. But screening tests can pick up the disease earlier and reduce the death rate, the Centers for Disease Control says.

University of Michigan Medical School researchers reviewed a national database of  258,024 colon cancer patients and found that one out of every seven – nearly 15 percent –were under the age of 50.  Previous figures have found that 90 percent of all such cancers occur in people over that age, and that the average patient is diagnosed at the age of 72.

Younger patients were more likely to receive aggressive surgery and radiation therapy. In addition, this group had better survival rates, both overall and by stage. Among patients whose cancer had spread to distant organs, 21 percent of younger patients survived beyond five years, compared to 14 percent of older patients, the study also found.

“Colorectal cancer has traditionally been thought of as a disease of the elderly. This study is really a wake-up call to the medical community that a relatively large number of colorectal cancers are occurring in people under 50,” says Samantha Hendren, M.D., the lead author of the study, which appears in Cancer.

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Colon cancer is being found in younger people, a new study finds.
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Monday, 25 January 2016 11:43 AM
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