John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center Research Demonstrates Increase in Early Onset Colorectal Cancer

Research contributes evidence of incidence increase under age 50

Prospective Cohort Study

Hackensack Meridian John Theurer Cancer Center contributed to a study demonstrating the increased incidence of early onset colorectal cancer (EO-CRC) in younger populations (age 20-49). The Clinical Colorectal Cancer study analyzed disease-specific survival in individuals under 50 years old, with the following findings:

  • Patients with EO-CRC (15% of all colorectal cancer) are typically diagnosed at a more advanced stage and have lower disease-specific survival than those in typically screened cohorts.
  • Ongoing research is addressing the cause of early onset colon cancer including lifestyle factors, nutrition and microbiome.

Patients with EO-CRC more frequently presented with distal tumors and advanced tumor stage. Patients aged 50 and over had comparable 5-year disease-specific survival to younger patients; however, patients in the 3rd, 4th, and 8th decade of life had particularly low survival rates.

Diagnostic stage was the most significant predictor of increased mortality risk. Older age, not younger age, was independently linked with increased mortality risk.

The study calls for additional studies on tumor biology and surveillance strategies to improve outcomes in this younger population.

Learn more about innovations in cancer treatments at John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center.

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