Colorectal Cancers in Young People

By Dr. Daniel A. Vorobiof, Belong.Life Chief Medical Director.

Over the past 20 years, there has been a slowly but steady increase in the number of younger people diagnosed with colorectal cancer. A major concern is how to identify them earlier in their disease and with that in mind the American Cancer Society and other institutions have changed the guidelines for colorectal cancer screening and lowered the age for the initial check up to 45 years instead of 50 as it was before.

In order to look at certain prognostic factors that could identify patients at high risk of developing this disease, many epidemiological studies have been done looking at certain diets and lifestyles that could promote colorectal cancer from a young age.

The most important related factors that probably play an important role in elevating the subsequent risk of developing this disease as a young adult are obesity, sedentary behaviour, higher consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, and lower vitamin D, as well as family history.

Hopefully in the near future researchers will be able to identify a more comprehensive risk profile of those younger patients who are more likely to develop colorectal cancers, and then adopt and recommend appropriate preventative approaches.

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