New Study Suggests Increase In Colorectal Cancer In Young Adults

A study by the American Cancer Society found cases of colorectal cancer are increasing by about 3% a year in adults in their 20s and 30s. 

The cancer society says it is not clear why there has been such an increase.

Medical Oncologist with Windsor Regional Hospital Cancer Centr Dr. Sindu Kanjeekal says colorectal cancer can happen to anyone, although it is more commonly found in people who are over 50-years-old.

She advises to seek treatment immediately if someone suspects they may have colorectal cancer. 

"It is extremely important because colorectal cancer has a 90% cure rate. How often can you say that it is 90% curable," says Kanjeekal. "You have a nine out of ten chances of curing cancer. I think when we frame it that way, those are great odds and people are willing to take that."

She says it is not uncommon for young adults in Windsor to have colon cancer. 

"As an oncologist that treats colorectal cancer, I have a small amount of people who are in this group of being under 50 and having colon cancer. It naturally raises the question if there is something going on," says Kanjeekal.

She says even though cases are increasing in young adults, the numbers are still very low. 

"The truth is in the majority of cases it is something other than cancer," says Kanjeekal. "Overall the numbers of folks with colin cancer less than 50 are still very low, but they certainly do happen."

Some symptoms of colorectal cancer include changes in bowel habits, rectal bleeding and persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain.