Bowl cancer mostly affects people over 50 years of age, but recent evidence indicates that they grow up in young Australians.
Recently, in our study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, intestinal cancer incidences occur, including colon and rectal cancer, which increased by 9% among people under 50 years of age from the 1990s.
In our research, all cases registered with intestinal cancer have been investigated in the Australians over the age of 20 years for the past 40 years. Previous studies have increased the rate of young adult group evaluation of intestinal cancer in young Australians.
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This trend can be seen internationally too. In the study of the United States, it has been reported that intestinal cancer incidence has increased in people aged 54 and under. Research shows that incidence of rectal cancer increased 3.2% annually from 1974 to 2013 in people aged 20-29.
Bowel cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia this year. In 2018, Australians got an opportunity of 13 chance of being diagnosed with colon cancer by their 85th birthday.
In our study it has also been found that the incidence of intestinal cancer is decreasing in elderly Australians. Probably, rarely, to reflect the effectiveness of the national bowel cancer screening program, is targeted at age 50-74. Bowel cancer screening reduces the incidence of cancer and reduces mortality by removing biased wounds and detecting existing cancers.
It is important, if found at the beginning, intestinal cancer treatment is a good remedy. From 2010 to 2014, the person diagnosed with intestinal cancer had about 70% chance of survival in the next five years. Survival is higher than 90% for people with intestinal cancer at an early stage.
That's why screening is so effective – and we had predicted earlier that if the coverage of the national bowl screening program could be increased by 60%, then around 84,000 people could be saved by 2040. This will present the extraordinary success. In fact, the intestines are likely to be one of the largest public health initiatives achieved in Australia in screening.
Why increase in young people?
Our study is not designed to identify why intestinal cancer is increasing among young people. However, there are some factors that can reduce our findings.
Increases in obesity are similar to bowel cancer, and large population-based studies have linked obesity to increased risk of cancer.
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Increased intake of unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, such as high-processed foods (including meat), has also increased the risk of intestinal cancer. High quality learning is needed to explore this role more.
The bowel is also considered to be a contributor to increasing the risk of intestinal cancer.
So, should we reduce the screening age of people under the age of 50 in Australia?
Careful analysis of potential benefits, losses and costs is necessary to evaluate the cancer screening program for the general population.
In recent Australian studies, the trade-off model has been reduced to reduce the screening age to 45. It shows that there will be more chance of detecting cancer. But there will be more colonoscopy-related hormones such as a hole (outbreak) which is in very small proportion of people who need more evaluation after screening.
Lower screening age will increase the number of colonoscopy in excessive public health systems and therefore there may be indeterminate consequences to increase the waiting time of colonoscopy for people at higher risk.
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Reduces intestinal cancer risk
One of the most common symptoms of intestinal cancer is the rectal bleeding. So if you take a blood note when you go to the toilet, look for your doctor to check.
Healthy lifestyle, adequate exercise, elimination of smoking, limiting alcohol consumption and eating well, are the most important to reduce the risk of cancer.
Aspirin may also reduce the risk of cancer, but should talk to your doctor because the potential for side effects including large bleeding.
Most importantly, we need to ensure the participation of deserving Australians in the current evidence-based screening program. Only 41% of the population in the 50-74 age group completed their PU tests in 2015-2016. This test is free, can be delivered by post and self-managed.