Colorectal Cancer (Bowel Cancer)
Early Onset Colorectal Cancer
Research has shown that one in five patients with early-onset CRC has at least one pathogenic susceptibility gene mutation, representing a higher percentage compared to late-onset CRC.
For sporadic cancers it seems that energy imbalance plays a crucial role in the development and progression of early-onset CRC and is one of the major risk factors. Physical inactivity, sedentary behaviors, and excessive caloric intake result in energy imbalance, which can lead to obesity that can increase the probability of developing a CRC in the young population.
A study associated high consumption of ultra-processed food with a higher risk for the development of early-onset advanced adenomas.1 The consumption of two or more servings of sugar-sweetened beverages a day was associated with a higher risk of early-onset CRC. Also, alcohol and processed meat can increase the incidence of early-onset CRC. The consumption of these products has proved to create an imbalance in the gut microbiome (the microorganisms inhabiting our bowel) which maintain a symbiotic relationship with our immune system protecting us from diseases onset.2
1. Zheng X, Hur J, Nguyen LH, et al. Comprehensive assessment of diet quality and risk of precursors of early-onset colorectal cancer.J Natl Cancer Inst 2021; 113: 543–52
2. Cathy Eng, Alexandre A Jácome, Rajiv Agarwal, Muhammad Hashim Hayat, Mariana X Byndloss , Andreana N Holowatyj , Christina Bailey , Christopher H Lieu A comprehensive framework for early-onset colorectal cancer research Lancet Oncol . 2022 Jan 25;S1470-2045(21)00588-X. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00588-X.