Young people, specifically white females, are at a higher risk of contracting rectal cancer and the medical community doesn't know why, Medscape reports.
Here's what you should know:
1. Rectal cancer rates are increasing at about 3 percent annually in people under 50.
2. The trend follows colorectal cancer which is also increasing in young generations.
3. Tucson-based University of Arizona fourth-year medical student Odinaka Mogor and colleagues analyzed data from 68,699 patients with rectal cancer from the National Inpatient Sample database.
4. Between 2010 and 2012, 2,748 of new cancer cases were diagnosed in people under 50 years old. In the age group, incidence rates rose annually from 2.8 percent to 3 percent to 3.4 percent.
5. The increases were found predominantly in females (62 percent) and in white patients (71 percent).
6. Mr. Morgor said, "The symptoms are well known, but we expect to see this in a population over age 50. As it's presenting in younger and younger age groups, most doctors are not expecting rectal cancer, so they're treating it as IBS or something else."