(HealthDay News) — In the United States, colorectal cancer (CRC) is increasingly being diagnosed among younger patients and at more advanced stages, according to a report published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Researchers provided updated statistics for CRC based on data from population-based cancer registries and the National Center for Health Statistics.

The researchers estimated that about 153,020 individuals in the US will be diagnosed with CRC in 2023, and 52,550 will die from the disease. This includes 19,550 CRC cases and 3750 deaths among patients younger than 50 years.

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The researchers noted that the annual, age-standardized CRC incidence rate decreased by 46% from 1985 to 2019. The decline slowed from 3% to 4% annually during the 2000s to 1% annually during 2011 to 2019. This was partly due to a 1% to 2% increase among patients younger than 55 years since the mid-1990s.

From 1995 to 2019, the proportion of CRC cases among patients younger than 55 years increased from 11% to 20%. Since about 2010, there was an increase in CRC incidence for patients younger than 65 years by about 2% to 3% annually for regional-stage disease and 0.5% to 3% annually for distant-stage disease, reversing the shift to earlier-stage diagnosis seen during 1995 through 2005. The proportion of CRC cases in which patients were diagnosed with advanced disease was 57% in 1995, 52% in the mid-2000s, and 60% in 2019.

The researchers also noted that, overall, CRC mortality declined by 2% annually from 2011 to 2020. However, CRC mortality increased by 0.5% to 3% annually in patients younger than 50 years and in Native Americans younger than 65 years.

“Progress against CRC could be accelerated by uncovering the etiology of rising incidence in generations born since 1950 and increasing access to high-quality screening and treatment among all populations, especially Native Americans,” the researchers wrote.

One researcher disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Colorectal Cancer Statistics, 2023