Colorectal cancer rates in younger adults are on the rise

Arthur Antler, MD & Haleh Pazwash, MD

A recent report by the American Cancer Society found that the number of people younger than age 55 diagnosed with colorectal cancer has increased, as well as the proportion of individuals diagnosed with advanced-stage colorectal cancer.

Overall colorectal cancer trends are driven by older individuals, however, the percentage of younger adults with colorectal cancer has doubled from 11 percent (1 in 10) in 1995 to 20 percent (1 in 5) in 2019. Those with advanced-stage colorectal cancer also increased from 52 percent in the mid-2000s to 60 percent in 2019. While incidence has declined for localized-stage disease by 4 percent annually from 2006 to 2019, it has ticked up for advanced disease, especially in people younger than 65 years of age.

The report also revealed that screening for colorectal cancer is lowest among ages 45 to 49, Asian Americans, individuals with less than a high school education, the uninsured, and recent immigrants.

Colonoscopy is the most common test with the highest prevalence in ages 65 to 74 years old at 74 percent, compared to 18 percent in ages 45 to 49 years old.

A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure that gastroenterologists use to examine the lining of the colon. This procedure is commonly used to screen for colorectal cancer.

The recommended age to schedule your first colonoscopy is 45. Routine screening is crucial to the early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer.

At Valley, our team makes it easy for you to schedule your colonoscopy screening. If you’re healthy and at low risk for colon cancer or rectal cancer, we can fast-track your procedure.

Through our Fast-Track Screening Colonoscopy Program, you can schedule your colonoscopy without having a pre-procedure visit with a gastroenterologist. This allows you to get your colorectal cancer screening done quickly, in just one appointment.

To learn more about our Fast Track Colonoscopy Program and to see if you are eligible, please visit For a phone consultation, please call 201-389-0808.

About the Author

Arthur Antler, MD & Haleh Pazwash, MD

Dr. Arthur S. Antler serves as the Interim Director of Gastroenterology for Valley Medical Group. Dr. Haleh Pazwash serves as the Subspecialty Department Director of Gastroenterology for The Valley Hospital.