Colorectal cancer rates are rising among young people worldwide

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() Cases of colorectal cancer among young people are rising across the globe, a new study warns.

Research across 36 countries and six continents revealed the disease was becoming more common in people younger than 50 years old.

In the US and the UK, where trends among older adults have stabilized or declined, early on-set rates were rising in younger patients.

South Korea was the worst for younger people, where the number of those diagnosed with colorectal cancer is rising 4.2 percent each year. 

The team, from the American Cancer Society, says it hopes the findings lead to an awareness of colorectal cancer among young people and that they recognize the signs so they can get tested before it's too late.   

A new study from the American Cancer Society has found that South Korea had the worst rates of colorectal cancer among young people, rising 4.2 percent each year (file image)

A new study from the American Cancer Society has found that South Korea had the worst rates of colorectal cancer among young people, rising 4.2 percent each year (file image)

Colorectal cancer is a cancer that starts in the colon or rectum, located at the lower end of the digestive tract.

The cancer usually begins with growths called polyps. They are located on the innermost lining of the colon or rectum and become cancerous over many years. 

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the US, among both men and women.

It is also the third leading cause of cancer deaths in both American men and women and is estimated to cause more than 51,000 deaths in 2019. 

For the study, published in the journal Gut, the team looked at rates of colorectal cancer in adults under 50 versus those aged 50 and older.

Of the 36 countries analyzed, colorectal cancer rates in adults under 50

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