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Later Stage Disease and Earlier Onset of Rectal Cancer: Epidemiology and Outcomes Comparison of Rectal Cancer in a Rural Appalachian Area to State and National Rates

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Although the overall rate of colorectal cancer (CRC) has remained stable, studies have shown an increase in the rate of CRC in young patients (<50) nationwide. We hypothesize that the rectal cancer (RC) rate in young people has increased in rural Appalachia. The goal is to provide insight into the future of RC epidemiology in underserved populations. This Institutional Review Board‐approved retrospective study evaluated RC patients diagnosed in 2003 to 2016, and compared the ratio of early-onset RC to the state and national ratios using West Virginia State Cancer Registry, North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) and Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program Database. Demographics include age, gender, ethnicity, and county. We also evaluated cancer stage, family history, and comorbidities, including body mass index, smoking, and alcohol history. The rate of early-onset RC in our area is 1.5 times higher than the national rates. In our population, 100 per cent of patients were white with an equal gender distribution. Young patients with RC were noted to be more overweight than national rates. Young RC patients are more likely to have a first- or second-degree relative with cancer diagnosis. Smoking was strongly associated with young RC. Compared with national statistics, a higher proportion of young patients had Stage 1 or 2 disease which correlated with better survival. The rate of early-onset RC in the Tristate Appalachian area in West Virginia is higher than the national rate with risk factors including white ethnicity, obesity, diabetes mellitus, smoking, family history, and history of pelvic surgeries. It warrants further investigation and discussion of current CRC screening guidelines that begin at age 50.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2018

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