Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC), the nation's largest advocacy organization dedicated to colon and rectal cancers announced today that the manuscript, "A summary of the Fight Colorectal Cancer working meeting: Exploring risk factors and etiology of sporadic early-age onset colorectal cancer" has been published in the August 2019 edition of Gastroenterology.
Earlier this year, Fight CRC with partners at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, convened a working group of researchers, oncologists, and patient advocates in Denver, Colo. to examine research initiatives aimed at investigating sporadic early-age onset colorectal cancer. The published manuscript is the collaborative effort of over 45 experts in the field of early-age onset colorectal cancer (EAO CRC), which is defined as CRC occurring in people under 50.
This paper is a roadmap that the colorectal cancer research, medical, and advocacy community can use as a guide to inform future exploration and collaboration as we work to understand the etiology of early-age onset colorectal cancer. Fight CRC's goal of convening this working group has been to foster collaboration."
Anjee Davis, Fight CRC president
Motivated by the rise of EAO CRC, the American Cancer Society's new recommendations suggesting those at average risk begin screening at age 45, and the impact on a younger population, Fight CRC saw the need to convene a working group to further understand what is causing this rise in adults under 50 years old.
According to Andrea (Andi) Dwyer, Director of the Colorado Cancer Screening Program (CCSP) at the Colorado School of Public Health, "We created an approach to figure out a means to identify and prioritize what is causing this dangerous increase in early-age onset colorectal cancer. Examining data and reducing the age for screening guidelines is essential but won't tell us the reason why. It is our responsibility to explore the "why."
Drs. Chris Lieu and Gurprataap Sandhu, both researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center are members of the Fight CRC EAO working group that has been leading the response to the rise of this disease in younger adults. At the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference, they presented research investigating prolonged rectal bleeding before diagnosis in early-age onset colorectal cancer patients.
Their findings indicated that out of 211 EAO CRC patients, over half of the patients had rectal bleeding before diagnosis and on average, it took 271.17 days to diagnose these cases with CRC. This research highlights the importance of early diagnosis leading to earlier disease stage and better health outcomes for EAO CRC patients.
Other leaders at the University of Colorado Cancer Center in this space and members of the Fight CRC EAO working group include Drs. Dennis Ahnen and Swati Patel, whose recent research indicated that EAO CRC may have different clinical, pathologic, and molecular presentations compared to colorectal cancer diagnosed in older individuals.