Contrary to decreasing incidence rate of colorectal cancer (CRC) in older adults, incidence rates have nearly doubled in younger adults (age <50 years) in the United States since the early 1990s. A similar increase has been observed across the globe. Despite overall population trends in aging, about 15% of CRCs will be diagnosed in younger adults by 2030. The mechanisms and factors contributing to early-onset CRC (EOCRC) remain puzzling, especially because most young adults diagnosed with CRC have no known risk factors or predisposing conditions, such as family history of CRC or polyps or a hereditary syndrome (eg, Lynch syndrome, polyposis). In this up-to-date review, we discuss the current knowledge of EOCRC, including epidemiology, risk factors, clinical and molecular features, treatment and survival, and recognition and screening strategies.
Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Epidemiology; Risk factors; Young adult.
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