Colorectal Cancer and Younger Age


Anchor lead: How can we explain the increase in colorectal cancer in younger people? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Colorectal cancer is cropping up more frequently in people in their forties, often enough that the American Cancer Society recently modified their guidelines for screening to begin at age 45, and younger in those with a family history of the disease. Now a recent study suggests that obesity is a major driver. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, affirms the notion.

Nelson: Obesity and inactivity they probably run in opposing directions most people think. There is a strong belief that at this point since the obesity is increasing and the age of onset of colorectal cancer appears to be decreasing that they may be related. Certainly what you see in this reasonably critical evaluation of risk associations they definitely ferret out obesity as a risk for colorectal cancer.  :25

Nelson notes that people should ask their primary care physician for the best screening method for them. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.