More and more people under the age of 50 are suffering from colon cancer, how is this possible?

More and more people under the age of 50 are suffering from colon cancer, how is this possible?

A worrying trend

“We see this alarming trend in the Netherlands and in other countries, and we see the number of colon cancer diagnoses under the age of 50 increasing by approximately 2 percent per year,” Boelhuis said.

This increase has been going on for some time. “We see it starting to increase a little bit from the 1990s onwards. There are no clear reasons, or at least no conclusive reason known yet.” This doesn't mean there aren't any thoughts on the subject. “We know that in a significant proportion of people who develop colon cancer at a young age, this is due to genetics, for example. But this has not changed significantly in recent years, so it cannot explain this increase.”

Lifestyle

However, lifestyle is very important in researching this. “We're actually looking specifically at lifestyle factors and living conditions that may have an impact on this increase that we're seeing in colon cancer at a younger age.”

According to Boelhuis, these are the usual ones: “Eating too much red meat, too much processed food, alcohol, smoking, too little fruit, too little vegetables, but also, for example, alcohol, smoking, being overweight and not exercising.” “These are all factors associated with this increase.”

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