In the past, this cancer did not occur in young people. Nowadays, more and more young people are affected by this cancer, until it has long been "reserved" only for people over 50 years old. What is the cause?
Colorectal cancer is growing among people under 50 in the UK, according to new studies, the Press Association reports Thursday.
Research has shown that the incidence of rectal and colon cancer in adults under the age of 50 has increased substantially over the period 2004-2014, while levels for other age groups have decreased or remained the same.
A study, published in the journal Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology, analyzed the number of colon and rectal cancers in developed countries such as the UK, New Zealand, Canada and Denmark.
Over the ten years studied, there have been substantial increases – on average, the incidence of colon cancer increased by 1.8% and that of rectal cancer by 1.4% each year for UK patients.
The study showed an increase in the number of colon and rectal cancers among those aged between 30 and 39 years.
Researchers have found that young people in the UK now have a higher risk of colorectal cancer than previous generations.
For the same time period, the study found a 1.7% reduction in the incidence of rectal cancer in those over 75 years of age.
"Although the incidence of colorectal cancer in adults under 50 is much lower than for other older age groups, our findings are worrying and stress the need to act to counteract the increase in illness among younger people, said Marzieh Araghi, the lead author of the study, Agerpres writes.
"This increase in incidence among younger generations is probably determined by the changing prevalence of risk factors such as obesity and an unhealthy diet," she said.