Colon cancer deaths are rising among young adults, and, according to researchers, no one knows why. Rates of colon and rectal cancer are increasing in North American white men by at least 1 percent, specifically those between ages 20 and 50.

This is a lot curious because those are the ages when screenings are usually beginning, according to a new study from the American Cancer Society.

Image credit: iStock / GPointStudio / Reader's Digest
Image credit: iStock / GPointStudio / Reader’s Digest

Colon and rectal cancer is increasing in white men, says the American Cancer Society

Demographic analyses made by researchers at the American Cancer Society, using data from 1970 and 2014, found that in 1995 there was an increase in death rates among white men aged 30 to 39, and also noted another peak in 2005 of men between 40 to 54 years old. These studies were published in The Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday. The routine screening is not recommended anymore for men under 50.

Dr. James Church, a colorectal surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, said that cancer keeps appearing among younger adults in advanced stages, and frequently producing deaths among white individuals.

Although Church was not involved in this study, he can properly agree with the information revealed. He is extremely sure about the increase in the rate because he has treated two different patients – not related and on separated occasions – both of 36 years-old and with stage IV colon cancer, he said.

The illness had spread so much and so fast to their livers, they couldn’t even undergo surgery. Both of them died rapidly, Church said.

“They both had young families, both little girls, and they lost their father in one case and their mother in the other, forever, because of this nasty disease when it’s advanced,” Church said. “It makes a big impact on me, and it makes me keenly interested in trying to solve this issue… Everybody in colorectal surgical circles is seeing increased incidence of colon cancer in the young, defined as younger than 50.”

The new investigation published in the journal JAMA sentenced not-so-well news. Researchers found that young adult men born in 1990 could be at higher risk than any other men born before. These, particularly, have exactly twice the risk of suffering colon cancer, and four times the risk of rectal cancer.

There’s no particular reason to understand why young adults are being affected

Unfortunately, the reason why this is happening reminds unknown. Scientists still don’t have the necessary technology to find the “why” but can only prevent and recommend people to be careful and take precautions.

“We’ve known that there’s this increasing trend in people under 50 for incidence, but a lot of people were saying, ‘Hey, this is good news. This means people are getting more colonoscopies, and cancer’s being detected earlier,'” told the lead author of the new research and epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, Rebecca Siegel.

She also sentenced cancer is not a game at all. Some people even judge doctors and say colonoscopies are unnecessary.

Both rectal and colon cancer are from the group of colorectal cancer. This one is the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States, and the second leading cause in men. According to the American Cancer Society, the result of deaths expected for this year is of 50,260.
Source: CNN