Suggest screening to start from 20 years
Until recently, colorectal cancer also known as bowel cancer was known as a common disease of the elderly, but findings by members of the American Cancer Society, have indicated four times increase in the risk of the condition among adolescents than the elderly.
The scientists, who attributed the sudden surge of the disease among the youths to diets high in red or processed meats, like bacon and sausages, alcohol intake and low fiber as major predisposing factors to the increment in the risk of the disease.
While earlier researchers have identified unhealthy diets, lack of exercise, and snacking on fast food, chocolate, cakes and soda as risks to the condition.
The study, which was featured on Daily Mail UK Online but initially published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, noted that the number of cases is rising in young and middle aged adults, including people in their early 50s, with rectal cancer rates increasing particularly fast.
According to one of the team members, as Dr Rebecca Siegel, an epidemiologist of the American Cancer Society, ‘Trends in young people are a bellwether for the future disease burden.
‘Our finding that colorectal (bowel) cancer risk for millennial has escalated back to the level of those born in the late 1800s is very sobering.
‘Educational campaigns are needed to alert clinicians and the general public about this increase to help reduce delays in diagnosis, which are so prevalent in young people, but also to encourage healthier eating and more active lifestyles to try to reverse this trend.’
The research shows looming danger of an impending epidemic of digestive diseases among youth, while it also alerted on the need to start screening people in their early 20s, rather than in their 60s.