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Colorectal Cancer on the Rise in Young Adults

September 18, 2023

In the past, colorectal cancer was primarily associated with older individuals. However, it is now becoming a significant health issue among young adults. According to a 2017 study, millennials (people born between 1981-1996) have twice the risk of developing colorectal cancer compared to those born in 1950. The same research also found that individuals under the age of 55 are nearly 60% more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage colorectal cancer compared to older adults. This shift has raised concerns within the medical community and highlights the need for greater awareness, early detection, and preventive measures among younger individuals.


There are several factors contributing to the rise of colorectal cancer in young adults. Sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets, obesity, and a lack of physical activity have been identified as key risk factors. Moreover, genetic predisposition, a family history of the disease, and inflammatory bowel diseases can further increase the susceptibility of young adults to colorectal cancer. These factors underscore the importance of making lifestyle changes, undergoing regular screenings, and considering genetic testing to identify individuals at risk and detect the disease at an early stage.


Prevention and education play vital roles in addressing the alarming increase of colorectal cancer in young adults. Promoting a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise, a balanced diet that is high in fiber, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, can significantly reduce the risk. By taking proactive measures, both individuals and society can collaborate to reverse this concerning trend and safeguard the well-being of young adults.