Colorectal cancer rates appear to be increasing among young adults

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Colorectal cancer rates have been rising for every generation since 1950, according to a recent study by the American Cancer Society.

The findings indicate that colorectal cancer rates appear to be increasing in people between the ages of 20 and 49. Researchers predict that 13,500 new cases of colon and rectal cancers will be diagnosed in Americans under age 50 this year; in all age groups, about 100,000 cases of colon cancer and nearly 40,000 cases of rectal cancer are expected.

Dr. Zev Wainberg is an associate professor in hematology and oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a member of UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. His research focuses on the development and testing of new-targeted therapies for the treatment of colon cancer, gastric cancer and esophagus cancer.

Wainberg can discuss the possible explanations for the rising number of colorectal cancer cases among younger adults and whether the current guidelines for colon cancer screenings should be revised.

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