Colon cancer incidence rate among younger white patients has increased, but has remained stable among blacks. Colorectal cancer deaths among white patients under age 55 have also increased, but they have decreased among blacks in the same age group. These findings were published in a research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association on August 8, 2017. This research supports a general trend that colon cancer rates are on the decline, but there is still a disproportionate increase in younger patients.
“This is not good news. We looked at adults from ages 20 to 54 and following several decades of pretty rapid declines in death rates, over the past decade deaths in this age group have been increasing,” lead investigator Rebecca Siegel, strategic director of surveillance information services at the American Cancer Society, told CBS News. “This indicates that there’s actually a true increase in disease. It’s not just detection of disease that was there and that we’re catching it earlier.”