MAY 20, 2021 10:40 AM PDT

High red meat consumption and low education level associated with early-onset colorectal cancer

Research published recently in JNCI Cancer Spectrum reports that higher red meat and alcohol consumption, as well as lower educational level, are associated with an increase in colorectal cancer in people under 50. As the rise of early-onset colorectal cancer (which refers to people under 50 diagnosed with the disease) continues climbing, bringing with it poorer outcomes for younger patients, understanding the risk factors at play is more important than ever. 

Given a particular observation of the rise in early-onset colorectal cancer in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan, senior investigator on the study Richard Hayes says it begs the question: Why? Hayes comments: “This first large-scale study of non-genetic risk factors for early-onset colorectal cancer is providing the initial basis for targeted identification of those most at risk, which is imperative in mitigating the rising burden of this disease."

Hayes and his colleagues analyzed data from 13 population-based studies that included 3,767 colorectal cancer cases and 4,049 controls in people under 50 and 23,437 colorectal cancer cases and 35,311 controls in people 50 or above years. They concluded that certain non-genetic factors are associated with a risk for early-onset colorectal cancer, including greater red meat intake, lower educational attainment, heavier alcohol use, not regularly using aspirins, and surprisingly, alcohol abstinence. 

Given the upsetting rise of early-onset colorectal cancer, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recently recommended that individuals with an average risk of colorectal cancer should now receive screening for the disease starting at age 45 instead of 50. 

Sources: JNCI Cancer Spectrum, Eureka Alert

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
MAR 11, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Deadly Cancer Cells Can Move in the Wrong Direction
MAR 11, 2021
Deadly Cancer Cells Can Move in the Wrong Direction
Cancer is most deadly when it metastasizes; when cells break away from a primary site of cancer and move through the bod ...
APR 03, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Why Are Some Cancer Therapeutics Ineffective?
APR 03, 2021
Why Are Some Cancer Therapeutics Ineffective?
Why don’t some cancer therapeutics not work in humans when they were successful in mice? The answer to this questi ...
APR 21, 2021
Cancer
Native shrub could fight undruggable cancer gene
APR 21, 2021
Native shrub could fight undruggable cancer gene
New research published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society reports on another cancer-fighting development, t ...
MAY 14, 2021
Cancer
Obesity-related cancer deaths are declining too slowly
MAY 14, 2021
Obesity-related cancer deaths are declining too slowly
A study published this week in JAMA Network Open shows that although obesity-related cancer deaths are falling, they are ...
MAY 21, 2021
Cancer
How to address low representation of Black Americans in cancer trials
MAY 21, 2021
How to address low representation of Black Americans in cancer trials
The Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania (ACC) has succeeded in more than doubling the enrollment of ...
MAY 31, 2021
Immunology
Engineering Faster, More Agile T Cell Cancer Fighters
MAY 31, 2021
Engineering Faster, More Agile T Cell Cancer Fighters
Cell therapies use engineered T cells extracted from the patient’s own immune system to rally an attack on tumors. ...
Loading Comments...