Colon Cancer Rising in People Under 50

According to a recent study, although overall colon cancer rates are declining, the rates among Americans under 50 have jumped more than 11 percent in the past decade.  

“Our findings suggest that health care providers should be more vigilant about detecting symptoms in younger patients and also should consider lowering the threshold for colonoscopy screening,” said lead researcher Dr. Elie Sutton, research fellow at Mount Sinai West Hospital in New York City.  “We really don’t know why colon cancer is increasing in younger patients.  We can speculate that it’s due to increases in inflammatory bowel disease or a change in diet, but really there is no clear consensus on that.” 

The researchers also found that colon cancer among those under 50 was often diagnosed when the cancer was already advanced. 

Colon and rectal (colorectal) cancer is the third most common cancer, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI).  The NCI estimates there will be more than 134,000 new cases in 2016.  Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths, second only to lung cancer, the NCI reports. 

At Commonwealth Newburyport Cancer Center, we treat colon cancer painlessly and noninvasively with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT).  EBRT is an effective treatment for colon cancer, working within cancer cells to limit their ability to multiply.  During treatment, high-energy X-rays are delivered to the cancer with a linear accelerator (LINAC).  The treatment process is painless, safe and treatments take about 10 to 15 minutes.  Side effects are usually minimal, and most patients return to routine activities immediately after each treatment. 

For more information about how colorectal cancer is treated at Commonwealth Newburyport Cancer Center, please click here