SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – While cases of colorectal cancer are declining in older adults, a dramatic surge in cases is occurring among Millennials and Generation Xers.READ MORE: Derek Chauvin Trial: San Francisco DA Boudin Says 'A Long Way To Go' On Reform After Guilty Verdicts
“It’s shocking when you hear about the numbers of people in their 20s and 30s who are being diagnosed,” said Dr. Rebecca Siegel, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society and the lead author of this new report.
Siegel said the timing of this colorectal cancer trend parallels that of the obesity trend in the U.S.READ MORE: Fire Crews Battle Wind-Fueled House Fire in Rural Brentwood
“Some of the behaviors that are thought to drive the obesity epidemic, like a more sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy dietary patterns, are also independent risk factors for colorectal cancer,” Siegel told KCBS.
Part of the rise can be attributed to more and better screening, but that tends to apply to people in their 40s.
“The largest increase we see is people in their 20s and 30s, who are least likely to be screened,” Siegel said.MORE NEWS: Kristin Smart Case: Court Document Says Student Was Once Buried In Suspect's Backyard
Siegel believes primary care doctors need to be more sensitive to this trend and be on the lookout for red flags. A later diagnosis typically results in a poorer prognosis.