Mortality rates rising for colon cancer – for white Americans
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.