is a General Surgery resident at the University of Toronto
is a colorectal surgeon at St. Michael's Hospital
a surgical oncologist at the University Health Network.
Colorectal Cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related death amongst men, and the third leading cause of cancer-related death in women in . Although screening has contributed to declining incidence in the elderly, recent epidemiological data reflect a rise in CRC among young adults. Data from the suggest a steady increase in young-onset (15-49y) CRC, from 745 cases in 1969 to 1475 cases in 2010. In Ontario, the incidence of CRC has been increasing in (30-49y) since 2005, from 6.17 per 100,000 to 9.08 per 100,000 for colon cancer, and 4.31 per 100,000 to 6.29 per 100,000 for rectal cancer. Evidence from other jurisdictions, including , , and the reflects similar trends in the rise of young-onset CRC. Why this apparent increase in CRC among younger people? We don’t yet know the cause but theories point to an interplay of several potential factors.