Stunning Research Reveals Dramatic Increase in Colon Cancer Rates Among Young Adults

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The very mention of the word "colonoscopy" is enough to inspire shivers but it's also a fact of life for many people over the age of 50. Now new research out this morning will probably inspire more physicians to urge more of their younger patients to undergo the same procedure.

The research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, indicates that the number of colorectal cancer cases in people aged 50 and older has fallen, but is on the rise among people 20-49 years old.

To date, patients younger than 50 have not been recommended for a general colorectal cancer screening. Yet, CRC is the third most common cancer in the U.S. In 2013, an estimated 142,820 new cases were reported, and researchers say a troubling number of those cases are now among young adults.

Researcher say if the trend continues, by the year 2020, colorectal cancer rates could increase by 37.8 percent in the 20-34 age group and by 2030, the rate could increase by as much as 90 percent for that same age group. Conversely, the researchers estimate that by 2030, incidence rates among patients over 50 will fall by around 41 percent.

"The increasing incidence of CRC among young adults is concerning and highlights the need to investigate potential causes and external influences such as lack of screening and behavioral factors," wrote the authors of the study, published in JAMA Surgery.