Cleveland Clinic Launches Center for Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer

Portrait of David Liska

Colorectal cancer cases in patients under age 50 have grown by more than 50% since the 1990s

Cleveland Clinic has established a center focused on the diagnosis, care, and research of young-onset colorectal cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, cases of colorectal cancer in patients under age 50 have grown by more than 50% since the 1990s.

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths and the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. It is also one of the most preventable cancers. As colorectal cancer rates have fallen overall, researchers are trying to understand why they are rising in younger adults.

Evidence has shown that obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. However, it is likely that other factors are also contributing to the increase in cases of young-onset colorectal cancer. A diagnosis of colorectal cancer before the age of 50 is considered young-onset.

“More research is needed to better understand what is causing the rise of colorectal cancer cases in young adults,” said David Liska, MD, colorectal surgeon and director of the Center for Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer. “We now have a center dedicated to early-onset colorectal cancer, with a specific focus on treatment, care, and research.”

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