Bowel cancer is on the rise among young people, according to new research, which found rates of the disease among people aged 20-39 years old rose 7.4 per cent a year between 2008 and 2016.
While researchers are unsure of what is causing the rise, the strongest suspect is obesity and diet, the Guardian reported.
Despite the rise in cancer cases among those under 40, researchers said they don’t recommend screening for young people as the risk still remains, on the whole, low.
Researchers used data from the national cancer registries of 20 European countries including the UK, Slovenia and Germany, and the findings were presented at the UEG Week gastroenterology meeting in Vienna.
Almost 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK. But despite the disease being the fourth most common cancer and the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, awareness is limited.
A poll of 4,000 UK adults commissioned by Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer found more than a third (35 per cent) of people couldn’t name any symptoms of the disease, with men less likely than women to recognise the signs.
What Is Bowel Cancer?
Bowel cancer is commonly used to describe cancer in the bowel, however depending on where the cancer starts, it can be called other things – such as colon or rectal cancer.
It usually starts as a small polyp in the lining of the bowel. If spotted early and removed, the cancer can’t develop. However, if a polyp goes undetected then it eventually grows and turns cancerous.
According to the NHS, most people diagnosed with the disease are over the age of 60. However, that’s not to say younger people don’t suffer too.
There are a number of possible factors which can increase a person’s...