Is the incidence of colorectal cancer increasing in the younger population? - a UK DGH experience


  • Shirish Tewari Department of General Surgery, Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK
  • Vinay Shah Department of General Surgery, Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK
  • Paul Cathcart Department of General Surgery, Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, UK
  • Vivek Gupta Department of General Surgery, Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK
  • Nick Reay-Jones Department of General Surgery, Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK



Colorectal cancer, Early-onset, Cancer, Incidence, Epidemiology


Background: Over the past few years we have noticed increasing number of young patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer being discussed in colorectal multidisciplinary team meetings. Our aim was to look if the incidence is in fact rising in the younger age-group patients, aged below 40 years.  

Methods: Retrospective data was collected from the Info flex database system at our DGH for all colorectal cancers diagnosed between January 2014-December 2019. The incidence of colorectal cancers under the age of 40 years was calculated as well as other demographics parameters were taken into consideration.

Results: Total 770 colorectal cancers were diagnosed during the study period. 451 (58.58% were male and 319 (41.42%) were female. The age range was 25-98 years. 2.06%, 3.19%, 1.14%, 0%, 2.22%, 2.38% patients below the age of 40 years were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Conclusions: Our study does not show any increasing trend in the incidence of colorectal cancer in the younger population. One of the limitations of this study is the limited sample size used. A larger sample size or analysis of colorectal registries could be more informative to ascertain if there is a change in the age-distribution pattern of colorectal cancers.  


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Original Research Articles