HealthDay News — Among younger adults, colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence rates have increased in several countries, according to a study published online in Gut.

Rebecca L. Siegel, MPH, from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues extracted long-term data from Cancer Incidence in Five Continents and supplemental sources to report on worldwide CRC incidence rates and trends through diagnosis year 2012 or beyond.

The researchers found that in adults aged <50 years, age-standardized CRC incidence rates ranged from 3.5 per 100,000 in India to 12.9 in Korea during 2008 to 2012. Incidence in adults <50 years was stable in 14 of 36 countries during the most recent decade of available data; declines were seen in Austria, Italy, and Lithuania; and increases were seen in 19 countries, nine of which had stable or declining trends among older adults. Inclines in incidence for younger adults were twice as rapid as those for older adults in Cyprus, the Netherlands, and Norway. The uptick in early-onset disease began in the mid-1990s among most high-income countries with long-term data. In younger adults, the steepest increases were seen in South Korea and New Zealand (average annual percent change, 4.2 and 4.0, respectively).

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“Beyond awaiting scientific discovery, clinicians have an opportunity to help mitigate premature morbidity and mortality from CRC with active documentation of familial cancer history; timely follow-up of symptoms, regardless of patient age; and screening when appropriate,” the authors write.

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