Wiley Logo Cancer rates seem to be swiftly alarming among individuals across the globe.A latest study claims that cases of rectal cancer are significantly rising in young individuals, irrespective of race or gender. Authors suggest the addition of better medications for rectal cancer in patients displaying early signs of the ailment.

Analyzing only the rate of rectal cancer occurrence may lead to missed or delayed diagnoses in younger people. So the investigators assessed the trends of rectal cancer incidence as compared to colon cancer trends in the United States. While conducting the study, data from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) cancer registry was utilized. The retrospective study scrutinized 7,661 colon and rectal cancer patients under the age of 40 years between 1973 and 2005.

Joshua Meyer, MD, a radiation oncologist currently at Fox Chase Cancer Center, lead investigator said, “We suggest that in young people presenting with rectal bleeding or other common signs of rectal cancer, endoscopic evaluation should be considered in order to rule out a malignancy. This is in contrast to what is frequently done, which is to attribute these findings to hemorrhoids. More frequent endoscopic evaluation may be able to decrease the documented delay in diagnosis among young people.”

Having analyzed the data provided, scientists calculated the alteration in incidence over time for colon and rectal cancers. In the years of the study, overall rates of colon and of rectal cancer were probably low. From every 100,000, while 1.11 cases were claimed to be of colon cancer, 0.42 were rectal cancer cases.

In recent years, incidences of colon cancer rates apparently remained flat in individuals under the age of 40 years. But investigators believe that since 1984, rectal cancer rates have been elevating. 3.8 percent increase of rectal cancer diagnosis seemingly occurred between 1984 and 2005. Since the overall incidence of rectal cancer is relatively low, experts may not have called for a change in screening guidelines.

The study is published online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.