The incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) is increasing among young adults in Europe, new evidence suggests.
The study, published in the journal Gut, collected data on age-related CRC incidence and mortality between 1990 and 2016 from national and regional cancer registries for 143.7 million people aged 20-49 years from 20 European countries.
Data analysis revealed that 0.13 per cent of the cohort received a diagnosis of CRC. Among 20-29-year-olds, the incidence of colon cancer rose more substantially (2.7% per year 1990-2005 and 9.3% per year 2005-2016) than the incidence of rectal cancer (3.5% across the period).
For both sexes combined, CRC incidence rose more sharply among 20-29-year-olds than the 30-39 and 40-49 age groups.
CRC mortality did not significantly change in the 20-29 age group, but it decreased by 1.1 per cent per year between 1990 and 2016 among those aged 30-39 years. Among 40-49-year-olds, mortality decreased by 2.4 per cent per year between 1990 and 2009 and increased by 1.1 per cent per year between 2009 and 2016.
Commenting on the findings, the authors say, the current CRC screening guidelines may need to be reconsidered.