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Disparities Exist in Young Patients with Colorectal and Gastric Cancers


The incidence of colorectal and gastric cancers has risen for younger patients, and many of them share ethnic and socioeconomic disparities as well.

As the incidence of colorectal and gastric cancers in younger patients has risen in recent years, researchers have found this population to have other factors in common — most notably ethnic and socioeconomic disparities.

Dr. Amir Khan and his team analyzed data from the California Cancer Registry spanning from 2000 to 2012 to find information on the different age groups of patients who have received colorectal and gastric cancer diagnoses. They found an increased incidence of the disease in patients aged 18-40, and that these younger patients were more likely to be uninsured, of low socioeconomic status or of Hispanic descent.

During the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, Khan, a fellow in surgical oncology at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California, met with CURE® to discuss the results of his team’s study and the data their findings have uncovered.


We found that the youngest age group, 18-40, (that there were) ethnic and socioeconomic disparities. Hispanic ethnicity was much more common in the younger population. In the group that was aged 65-90 maybe about 20% of gastric cancers were among Hispanics as opposed to the 18-40 group (where) 50% of patients were Hispanic.

We also found that younger patients were more likely to be uninsured and of low socioeconomic status. We found that these patients may present with later stage disease — stage 3 and stage 4 — and they had certain histopathologic features that suggested a more aggressive disease process. They had more poorly differentiated tumors, (and) in terms of gastric cancer they had diffuse type pathology and poorly differentiated tumors as well.

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