New report finds that colon cancer is killing more younger men and women than ever?
Experts are stumped as to why colorectal cancer is rising dramatically among people in their 30s and 40s.
Colorectal cancer is the deadliest cancer for men under age 50 — and the second deadliest cancer among women in the same age group, behind breast cancer.
The incidence of colon cancer has been rising for at least the last two decades, when it was the fourth-leading cause of cancer death for both men and women under 50.
Among men and women of all ages, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death.
Prostate cancer is second for men, and breast cancer is second for women.
Colorectal cancer is third, overall, for both sexes.
Even as overall cancer deaths continue to fall in the U.S., the American Cancer Society is reporting for the first time that colon and rectal cancers have become leading causes of cancer death in younger adults.
The finding was published Wednesday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
Cancer is traditionally a disease among the elderly, although the percentage of new cases found in people 65 and older has fallen from 61% in 1995 to 58%.
The decrease, attributed mainly to drops in prostate and smoking-related cancers, has occurred even though the proportion of people in that age group has grown from 13% to 17% in the general population.
In contrast, new diagnoses among adults ages 50 to 64 have increased since 1995, from 25% to 30%.
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