The incidence of young-onset colorectal cancer (CRC) is reported to be increasing in the Western world. There are no population-based studies assessing the trend across Asia.
We performed a multinational cohort study involving four Asian countries/regions, namely Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong. The magnitude and direction of trend in the incidence of young-onset CRC (age < 50) were quantified using Joinpoint Regression Program to estimate average annual percentage change (AAPC).
In Taiwan (1995–2014), incidence of young-onset CRC significantly increased in both men (colon cancer: 4.9–9.7 per 100,000; rectal cancer: 4.0–8.3 per 100,000) and women (colon cancer: 5.1–9.7 per 100,000; rectal cancer: 3.8–6.4 per 100,000). In Korea (1999–2014), incidence of young-onset CRC significantly increased in both men (colon cancer: 5.0–10.4 per 100,000; rectal cancer: 4.9–14.0 per 100,000) and women (colon cancer: 4.1–9.6 per 100,000; rectal cancer: 4.1–9.1 per 100,000). The most pronounced change was observed with male rectal cancer, increasing by 3.9% per year in Taiwan (AAPC + 3.9, 95% confidence interval + 3.3 to +4.5, P < 0.05) and 6.0% per year in Korea (AAPC +6.0, 95% confidence interval + 4.5 to +7.6, P < 0.05). Only a significant increase in rectal cancer was noted in Japan (male rectal cancer: 7.2–10.1 per 100,000, female rectal cancer 4.7–6.7 per 100,000) and Hong Kong (male rectal cancer: 4.4–7.0 per 100,000).
Increasing trend in young-onset CRC is not limited to the Western world. This finding may have implications on screening program for CRC in these countries/regions.
1Institute of Digestive Disease, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong;
2Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan;
3The Korea Central Cancer Registry, National Cancer Center, Seoul, Korea;
4National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer Center, Seoul, Korea;
5Cancer Screening Division, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.
Correspondence: Joseph J. Y. Sung, MD, PhD. E-mail: email@example.com
Received May 23, 2018
Accepted November 29, 2018