The incidence of young-onset colorectal cancer in Canada continues to increase

Cancer Epidemiol. 2020 Dec:69:101828. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2020.101828. Epub 2020 Sep 28.


Background: Despite decreases in the overall incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) in Canada, a concerning increase has been observed among younger adults in recent years. The aim of this study was to update age-specific incidence trends of CRC from 1971 to 2017 in Canada.

Methods: Data was obtained from the National Cancer Incidence Reporting System and the Canadian Cancer Registry. Age-specific annual percent changes in the incidence of CRC was estimated using NCI's Joinpoint Regression Program.

Results: The incidence of CRC among adults over age 50 has continued to decrease, while the incidence among adults under the age of 50 has continued to rise. The largest increases have occurred among 20-29 and 30-39 age groups for colon and rectal cancers, respectively.

Conclusion: The incidence of CRC among young adults, particularly those under 40, continues to increase among men and women in Canada. Studies examining potential risk factors for young-onset CRC are required.

Keywords: Age-specific trends; Colorectal cancer; Incidence; Young-onset.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Registries
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding