A study recently published in the journal entitled Cancer evaluated the trends in the rate of colon cancer.
The study showed that over the past decade, the rate of colon cancer in individuals under the age of 50 has increased. It also determined that colon cancer rates in people over the age of 50 has been on the decline.
The colon cancer rate in people under 50 years old was 10 percent in 2004 and had risen in 2015 to 12 percent.
Dr. Jon LaPook, the chief medical correspondent for CBS News, reported that the decline in colon cancer over 50 years old is partially due to the success of colonoscopies which can see polyps which can be surgically removed before them turning into cancer.
However, the increase in colon cancer cases for people under 50 years of age can not be explained.
“The most intriguing possibility to me is it has something to do with the gut microbiome. That’s the trillions of bacteria and hundreds of species in our gut. And it turns out that certain species are linked to increased risk of colon polyps and colon cancer. Maybe we’re messing up our gut microbiome with antibiotics and our modern diet.”
The National Cancer Institute said that colon cancer is the fourth most common form of cancer and behind lung cancer, the second deadliest.
The American Cancer Society recently lowered the recommended age of colon cancer screenings from 50 years old to 45.
LaPook said other medical organizations do not agree with the recommendation. He advises the decision for a colon cancer screening should be made between the patient and physician.
Written by Barbara Sobel
CBS News: Study finds colon cancer rates rising for patients under 50
Medical News Today: Colorectal cancer rates rising in younger adults
Yahoo News: Colorectal cancer cases on the rise among younger adults: study
Featured and Top Image Courtesy Of ds4832’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License