Mor­tal­ity rates ris­ing for colon cancer – for white Amer­i­cans

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD - By Ari­ana Eun­jung Cha

This year, re­searcher Re­becca Siegel of the Amer­i­can Cancer So­ci­ety pub­lished a star­tling re­port show­ing that colon and rec­tal cancer in­ci­dence is ris­ing among Gen X and mil­len­ni­als while fall­ing in older gen­er­a­tions.

On Tues­day, af­ter delv­ing fur­ther into the data, she and her co-au­thors iden­ti­fied “a true and per­plex­ing es­ca­la­tion in dis­ease oc­cur­rence.” In a pa­per in JAMA, the journal of the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion, they re­port that deaths from col­orec­tal cancer also are in­creas­ing for young and mid­dle-aged Amer­i­cans — although the in­crease ap­pears, at least so far, to be con­fined to white men and women.

The U.S. mor­tal­ity rate for col­orec­tal cancer for ages 20 to 54 fell from 6.3 per 100,000 in 1970 to 3.9 in 2004. It then be­gan to go up by 1 per­cent an­nu­ally. By 2014, the rate was 4.3 per 100,000.

Break­ing the num­bers out by race re­veals the trend, with the out­look be­com­ing bet­ter for blacks and peo­ple of other races but not for whites.

The mor­tal­ity rate for whites had been de­clin­ing for decades, but it be­gan to climb start­ing in 2004, go­ing from 3.6 per 100,000 to 4.1 per 100,000 in 2014.

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