A new study has suggested that the
incidence of bowel cancer has gone up significantly in the last decade. Analysis
by the Bowel Cancer Australia has noted an overall increase of more than 12.3% in
the rate of bowel cancer.
Traditionally bowel cancer is seen
as an older person's disease. Previous records have shown that bowel cancer among
the youth was seen only among those individuals with a genetic predisposition. But
now the incidence has gone up sharply among the youth with 160% increased
incidence among men below 25-years and more than 75% increase among women of
the same age. Bowel cancer rates have increased by about 40% for men and women
between 25 to 34-years.
Doctors have been unable to explain
the reason for this surge. Colorectal surgeon, Associate Professor
Graham Newstead AM, Bowel Cancer Australia said, "Increased dietary fat
and energy intake in the younger generation may also be related to their
increasing rates of bowel cancer. Indeed, overall changes in the way in which
our food is produced may also be a factor although the science is yet to be
Even though bowel cancer is a
preventable disease the mortality rate in Australia is as high as 4400 deaths per
year as patients tend to seek medical help only with late-stage symptoms. Bowel
cancer is Australia's second leading cause of cancer death.