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Colorectal cancer progress slowing as cases skew younger

By Nicholas Gerbis
Published: Wednesday, March 1, 2023 - 4:16pm
Updated: Friday, March 3, 2023 - 11:07am
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Every three years, the American Cancer Society issues an update of statistics for colorectal cancer, the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.

Unfortunately, this year’s report shows that several positive trends are slowing or reversing.

Colorectal cancer is still losing ground in the U.S., but just barely: A rise in the proportion of younger people with the disease has slowed its decline from 3%-4% to just 1%. The share of cases among those younger than 55 rose from 11% in 1995 to 20% in 2019.

Colorectal cancers are also being detected at more advanced stages. In 2019, 60% of all new diagnoses were of advanced cases; that’s higher than in 1995, before widespread screening.

Today, four in 10 Americans aged 45 and older are not up to date on their screenings.

Science Health + Medicine