We continue to expand our efforts in getting young-onset colon cancer on map through our Never Too Young campaign and recent whitepaper because we’re invested in this topic and how it impacts our community. It’s exciting to see that as awareness grows about the increased incidence rates of colon cancer in the under 50 population, more researchers are taking this issue under their wing as an area of exploration. We attended the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology this week and learned about the work investigators at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York are doing on the topic.
The study presented found that from 2000 to 2011, the number of new young onset colon cancer diagnoses has been increasing 1.4% every year, while numbers have decreased 3.1% annually for those diagnosed with this disease over age 50. Researchers discovered that males under age 50 are at a higher risk than females in this age category; and those of African American and Hispanic descent are at a higher risk than their white counterparts. The study also shows that young onset colon cancer patients are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage cancer, with larger tumors and the location of these tumors in the left side of the colon, which are more difficult to see during screening. The folks at Weill Cornell Medical College have concluded that an efficient screening method and adequate knowledge about risk factors for young patients are still lacking.
From the research the Colon Cancer Alliance has been involved with, we know rates of this disease are on the rise for those under age 50 and we are taking action on this issue. Through our Never Too Young initiative, we’re working tirelessly to make the public aware that colon cancer is not an older person’s disease and can strike at any age. In response to this need for awareness, we've created the Never Too Young Coalition, a collaborative group of 27 medical institutions and advocacy organizations set out to get these trends on the radar of the general public and medical community alike. In addition, through our Blue Hope Research Award, in 2015 we will proudly provide grant funding to a young investigator who is conducting research on young onset colon cancer.
We won’t stop until we see these statistics reversed. Stay tuned for more noise! Visit nevertooyoung.org for more information.
Don’t forget, if you have questions or are in need of support, please contact our free Helpline at (877) 422-2030. We’re here to help.