A study analyzing Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center’s Louisiana Tumor Registry (LTR) and other National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated tumor registry data found that by the time recommended screening for colorectal begins; cancers have already spread in a high percentage of people. Results report that the rate of colorectal cancer incidence increased by 46.1 percent from 49 to 50 years of age and that 92.9 percent of the cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed at age 50 were invasive. The study is published in JAMA Open Network.
“The findings of this study indicate that the burden of early-onset of colorectal cancer incidence for 45-49-year olds has been underestimated because asymptomatic colorectal cancers were not detected due to lack of screening,” notes Dr. Xiao-Cheng Wu, director of the LTR and professor in Epidemiology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Public Health.
Data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology & End Results (SEER) 18 registries, representing 28 percent of the U.S. population, were used to conduct a cross-sectional study of colorectal cancer incidence rates from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2015, in 1-year age increments (ages 30-60 years) stratified by U.S. region (South, West, Northeast, and Midwest), sex, race, disease stage, and tumor location. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening beginning at age 50. “As the diagnosis of many of these colorectal cancers was delayed to ages after 50, the advanced stage was more likely present at diagnosis,” adds Dr. Wu. “This study provides useful evidence for improving colorectal cancer screening policy.”
Besides Dr. Wu, other members of the research team from LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health include Dr. Qingzhao Yu, professor in Biostatistics, and a Ph.D. Alumni ‘19 in Epidemiology Dr. Meijiao Zhou.