A recent study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology reveals that individuals with advanced young-onset adenoma (YOA) are at a significantly higher risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC). The research, conducted by Dr. Yas Casey and colleagues from the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System in California, compared the incidence of CRC in adults under the age of 50 with YOA diagnosis to those with a normal colonoscopy.
The study included 54,284 U.S. veterans aged 18 to 49 years who underwent a colonoscopy between 2005 and 2016. The researchers found that the 10-year cumulative incidence of CRC was 0.11 percent for any adenoma diagnosis, 0.18 percent for advanced YOA diagnosis, 0.10 percent for nonadvanced adenoma diagnosis, and 0.06 percent for those with a normal colonoscopy.
Notably, veterans with advanced adenoma were found to have an eightfold higher risk of developing incident CRC compared to those with a normal colonoscopy. However, there were no significant differences in fatal CRC risk across the groups studied.
The authors of the study note that the cumulative incidence and mortality rates of CRC at 10 years were relatively low among individuals with young-onset nonadvanced or advanced adenoma diagnosis. This suggests that prompt detection and appropriate management of YOA can help mitigate the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Further research is needed to better understand the underlying mechanisms and characteristics of YOA that contribute to the increased risk of CRC. Nevertheless, these findings highlight the importance of regular screening and surveillance in younger individuals, especially those with YOA.
This study sheds light on the potential long-term consequences of YOA and emphasizes the need for early intervention and preventive measures to reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer in this population.
– Yas Casey et al, Risk of Incident and Fatal Colorectal Cancer After Young-Onset Adenoma Diagnosis: A National Cohort Study, American Journal of Gastroenterology (2023). DOI: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000002296