Colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence rates increased in adults aged 20-29 across Europe by 6 per cent every year between 2008 and 2016, according to research presented at United European Gastroenterology Week.
While investigations in the North American population have demonstrated that CRC is increasing in young adults, there has been a dearth of information on trends in Europe. Using data from 20 European national cancer registries, researchers analysed trends in incidence rates of young adults with CRC across Europe over the last 25 years.
In adults aged 20-39 years, overall CRC incidence has increased by 4.9 per cent annually since 2005. For colon cancer, incidence increased by 2.2 per cent annually in men from 1990 to 2010 and by 7.3 per cent annually from 2010 to 2016. In women, incidence increased by 1.5 per cent per year from 1990 to 2008 and by 8.9 per cent from 2008 to 2016. Incidence of rectal cancer increased for men and women by 2.4 and 2.0 per cent, respectively, per year.
Lead researcher Dr Fanny Vuik said: "Increased awareness and further research to elucidate causes for this trend are needed and may help to set up screening strategies to prevent and detect these cancers at an early and curable stage."