The development of Colorectal cancer is from the colon or rectum. The colon and the rectum are parts of the large intestine.
The rate of colon and rectal cancers has increased dramatically, particularly among the millennials and Generation X adults in America, according to a new study by the American Cancer Society.
As a result, some specialists are calling on federal officials to change U.S. guidelines on screening, antibiotics, and drugs that may be contributing factors.
The study found that someone born in 1990 has double the risk of early colon cancer and quadruple the risk of early rectal cancer as someone who was born in 1950.
“Colorectal cancer had been thought to be a success story,” said lead researcher Rebecca Siegel, the strategic director of Surveillance Information Services in the Intramural Research Department at the American Cancer Society.
Her landmark study describing the disturbing rise in colorectal cancer among younger adults was reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Although rates have fallen among older adults because of increased screening, Siegel says “it appears that under the surface, the underlying risk for colorectal cancer is rising and it is rising pretty quickly among young adults”.
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“Studies indicate that the increased risk of colon cancer may be more on the right side of the colon, that is the ascending or transverse colon rather than on the left,” he says. “Since the bacterial flora is clearly different on the right side, this may suggest that some of the factors causing the surge may be the antibiotics used to feed farm animals, pesticides in our environment, and even the use of drugs”.
“We clearly understand that the obesity epidemic in the United States may also be a causal factor in the increase of this potentially deadly disease.”
Ross suggests that earlier colonoscopies or the newer stool studies which are accurate for analyzing DNA in the stool may be implemented to catch disease earlier by identifying polyps or early cancers.
“Clearly the obesity epidemic needs to be dealt with,” he says. “Smoking may also be an issue we need to confront as well. As a nation, we must also be aware of what we are feeding farm animals and how we use pesticides.
For patients with colorectal cancer, radiation therapy may be used along with chemotherapy before or after surgery, along with adjuvant chemotherapy.