Colon cancer deaths on the rise


The increase was confined to white individuals, among whom mortality rates increased by 1.4 percent per year, from 3.6 in 2004 to 4.1 in 2014.

For other ethnic groups, the combined mortality rate declined from 1970 to 2006 and then stabilized. However, from 1995 through 2014, mortality increased by 1.6% (95% CI, 1.2-2.1) annually for those aged 30 to 39 years.

The researchers, led by Rebecca Siegel, added the rising mortality rates "strongly suggests that the increase in incidence is not only earlier detection of prevalent cancer, but a true and perplexing escalation in disease occurrence".

"At this time, the data do not support a call for earlier screening, since the absolute risk of developing colorectal cancer at a young age, even among whites, remains very low", Chan said.

The results showed a wide variation in the survival rates for lung cancer and liver cancer patients at different institutions, while the differences in breast cancer survival rates were relatively small.

Japan's National Cancer Center for the first time on August 9 released data showing the relative five-year survival rate of cancer patients at 188 hospitals around Japan - roughly half the number of institutions serving as bases for cancer treatment.

The ACA recommends most people start colon cancer screenings at age 50.

Obesity and the sedentary lifestyle common among many Americans are likely contributing to rising cases and deaths from colorectal cancer, but it's "unclear the extent to which these factors are contributing because of the racial disparity", Siegel said.

In contrast, colorectal cancer mortality rates in blacks decreased over the entire study period among those aged 20 to 49 years and since 1993 in those aged 50 to 54 years. "It's probably a real increase among young people", Siegel noted.

Limitations of the study included its ecologic nature and inaccuracies in about 5% of all death certificates listing colorectal cancer as the underlying cause of death. Turns out, it was stage 4 colon cancer.

Experts are divided as to whether the findings should prompt a change in screening guidelines.

Siegal explained that this type of cancer in people under 55 is still rare, but that screening and keeping an eye out for symptoms - including abdominal pain, blood in the stool, weight loss and changes in bowel patterns - is advisable.

Shepard is speaking out about a new study conducted by the American Cancer Society.

Those at higher risk should get their first test ten years before the age of the relative diagnosed with the disease. The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.