Groundbreaking Early-Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Think Tank Aims to Transform Colorectal Cancer Outcomes

Springfield, Mo., Nov. 29, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC), a national advocacy organization, is leading a groundbreaking initiative to combat the alarming rise of colorectal cancer as it is projected to be the leading cause of cancer deaths among individuals ages 20 to 49 by 2030. On December 1, 2023, co-hosted with Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Fight CRC will leverage innovation and collaboration by convening leading researchers, medical professionals, and emerging scientists at the Early-age Onset Colorectal Cancer (EAO CRC) Think Tank, with a singular objective: to save young lives from colorectal cancer. 

The EAO CRC Think Tank is an extension of Fight CRC's Path to a Cure initiative, aiming to mobilize colorectal cancer champions nationwide, engage them in the scientific research process, and advocate for colorectal cancer research funding while effectively communicating research findings to the public. Colorectal cancer, particularly among the younger demographic, remains underfunded and is the only top-five cancer type lacking its own Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program within the Department of Defense. In response, Fight CRC has taken proactive measures by establishing the EAO CRC Think Tank and forming strategic partnerships with leading experts in the colorectal cancer medical community. Together, they are advocating, engaging, and forging a path to disrupt the current trajectory of diagnoses and fatalities among young individuals. 

Colorectal cancer rates have doubled for people under 55 compared to a decade ago, with individuals under 50 often diagnosed at later stages. To unravel the unique experiences associated with EAO CRC, Fight CRC conducted an online patient-facing survey, garnering insights from nearly 900 respondents. Shockingly, 90% of EAO CRC patients have been wrongly told that "colorectal cancer is an old man's disease." A patient shared, "My doctor ordered a colonoscopy because of symptoms, not age. The doctor was still processing his shock of a 35 –year old with no family history diagnosed with colorectal cancer." 

For those born in 1990, the risk of colon cancer is twice as high and rectal cancer four times as high compared to those born in 1950 at the same age. Young adult patients contend with challenges in relationships, body image, and fertility preservation, with 71% experiencing relationship issues, 92% facing body image concerns after treatment, and only 27% feeling adequately informed about fertility preservation. 

Fight CRC President Anjee Davis states, " We are thrilled to be convening the Early-age Onset Colorectal Cancer Think Tank, uniting the foremost experts in colorectal cancer research. Our research community comes to this with a spirit of innovation to tackle the rising threat of early-age onset colorectal cancer. We all want to ensure that young patients can be filled with hope." 

Fight CRC is proud to lead the charge in addressing the growing concern of EAO CRC, pushing the boundaries of collaboration and innovation to redefine the future of research, prevention, and care. Learn more about Fight CRC's Path to a Cure initiative at


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