Should young people be worried about colon cancer? 

Bilchik said while he found the study provocative, we must be somewhat cautious when interpreting the findings.

“They use percentages, which are very high, to suggest that there is a 400% or 500% increase in very young people being diagnosed with colon cancer,” he continued.

“But if you translate that to absolute numbers, we’re talking about the difference between 1 or 2 out of a million versus 6 out of a million,” Bilchik explained.

“So I think when we talk about these absolute numbers versus the percentages, the percentages sound very alarming, but the actual numbers suggest that it still is not very common among really young people,” Bilchik added.

Casillas said this study is important as it will help with future studies as we do not want to continue to see this incident pattern continue to increase.

“It’s an important foundational study so we can see what we have to do for defining (the) next steps for hopefully early diagnosis or mitigating any risk for developing (colorectal cancer),” Casillas added.

“I think it’s going to be important for the research community (to continue) to explore these different factors to try to understand the why.”