The incidence of colorectal cancer in those under the age of 55 is rising, and the number of diagnoses for advanced-stage colorectal cancer is also rising, according to the American Cancer Society's Colorectal Cancer Statistics 2023.
The second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US is colorectal cancer, which is also the most frequent cancer in men under 50. However, modifiable risk factors like smoking, heavy alcohol use, a poor diet, obesity, and inactivity are estimated to be blamed for more than half of all colorectal cancer diagnoses.
The American Cancer Society updates its statistics on the incidence and mortality rates of colorectal cancer every three years in order to monitor and track the disease.
The study for this year, Colorectal Cancer Facts and Statistics 2023–2025, was released on March 1 in A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. It included numerous significant findings about colorectal cancer rates in the United States.
According to the data, the researchers predict that in 2023 there will be 52,550 disease-related fatalities and 153,020 new instances of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in the US. Furthermore, the data suggests that males may be more at risk than women because, between 2015 and 2019, men had a 33% higher rate of this type of cancer than women.
The number of people under 55 who received a colon cancer diagnosis nearly doubled between 1995 and 2019. In that age group, around one in 10 people was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 1995; by 2019, that figure had increased to one in 20.
The statistics also revealed changes in the proportion of cases of advanced colorectal cancer. For instance, towards the middle of the 2000s, 52% or so of cancer diagnoses were for regional or advanced stages. However, in 2019, 60% of diagnoses were made at a late stage.
Every person over 45 has been urged to get screened with one of the suggested screening tests by the American Cancer Society. They include colonoscopies, computed tomographic colonography (CTC) scans, flexible sigmoidoscopies, and stool tests such as the faecal immunochemical test (FIT), high-sensitivity guaiac-based faecal occult blood test (gFOBT), and FIT-DNA test.
Despite the fact that a colonoscopy is more invasive than other screening techniques, it is still regarded as the gold standard since it is capable of detecting and removing polyps.
In a news release, the study's lead author Rebecca Siegel, senior scientific director and surveillance research at the American Cancer Society said: "We know rates are increasing in young people, but it’s alarming to see how rapidly the whole patient population is shifting younger, despite shrinking numbers in the overall population. The trend toward more advanced disease in people of all ages is also surprising and should motivate everyone 45 and older to get screened."
The Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the US finalised a Medicare rule that permits coverage of colonoscopies after a person takes a non-invasive screening test to help guarantee that everyone has access to colorectal screening.
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