Colon cancer on the rise among Danes under 50 – The Post

Colon cancer on the rise among Danes under 50

Expert points to lifestyle of youth as a probable explanation

Obesity, alcohol, smoking and inactivity among key factors when it comes to colon cancer (photo: Pixabay)
May 22nd, 2019 9:57 am| by Christian W

A new international research report has discovered that instances of colon cancer in people under 50 are increasing in wealthy countries – with Denmark leading the statistics.

The report found that from 2003-2012 the number of Danes under 50 who received a colon cancer diagnosis rose by an average of 3.1 percent annually – the highest out of all 21 countries investigated.

“An overall decline or stabilisation in the incidence of colon and rectal cancer was noted in all studied countries,” the report found.

“In the most recent 10-year period for which data was available, however, significant increases were noted in the incidence of colon cancer in people younger than 50 in Denmark (by 3.1 percent), New Zealand (2.9 percent), Australia (2.9 percent), and the UK (1.8 percent).”

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Lifestyle impact
Furthermore, over the same period, instances of colorectal cancer in the same age group in Denmark increased by 0.2 percent annually. During the period, 13,764 Danes were diagnosed with colon cancer – 584 of who were under 50.

Morten Rasmussen, a PhD and doctor at the Abdominal Department at Bispebjerg Hospital, suggested that the lifestyle of younger people is one of the most likely reasons for the higher prevalence.

“We see a rising obesity epidemic among young Danes, and there is a tendency to eat more ready-made meals, less vegetables and fibre, and to do less exercise,” Rasmussen told

The findings have been published in the noted scientific journal The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.