June 23, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Colon cancer: 500% increase in incidence in children and adolescents

A sharp increase in the incidence of colon cancer in the United States, especially among children and adolescents, has been discovered by scientists who will present data at the Digestive Disease Week conference.

In particular, in the period from 1999 to 2020, the incidence of colon cancer increased by 500% in children aged 10–14 years, by 333% in adolescents aged 15–19 years, and by 185% in young adults aged 20–24 years.

Using data from the US Centers for Disease Control's Wonder database, the researchers calculated Trends in colorectal cancer incidence among people aged 10 to 44 years from 1999 to 2020. In 2020, 0.6 children aged 10–14 years per 100,000 population were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, up from 0.1 per 100,000 in 1999. The number of diagnoses among adolescents aged 15–19 years increased from 0.3 to 1.3 per 100,000, and among young people aged 20–24 years from 0.7 to 2 per 100,000.

The researchers clarify that the number of cases in children and adolescents is not high enough to recommend widespread use of colonoscopy, but more individualized approaches should be considered.

Escalation was also observed at older ages: indicators have increased by 71% for 30-34 year olds, 58% for 35-39 year olds and 37% for 40-44 year olds. The latter age group may have seen the smallest percentage increase, but had the highest incidence of colon cancer, reaching 20 cases per 100,000 people in 2020.

Risk factors include a family history of inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer, modifiable risk factors include obesity, tobacco use, alcohol consumption and dietary habits such as low fiber intake, consumption of processed meats and sugary drinks, and a high-fat diet.

A sedentary lifestyle, the presence of tumor-causing bacteria, and the use of antibiotics and nutritional supplements are possible factors that contribute to the risk of developing colon cancer.

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