In an article out this week in JNCI Cancer Spectrum, Yin Cao, ScD, MPH, assistant professor of surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, et.al. found that prolonged sedentary TV viewing time was associated with increased risk of young-onset colorectal cancer (CRC), or CRC diagnosed before the age of 50. This study is among the first to prospectively link specific sedentary behavior patterns with risk of young-onset CRC.
Because new cases of both colon and rectal cancers have been increasing for younger adults ages 20 to 49, the American Cancer Society recently lowered the recommended age of first screening from 50 years old to 45 years old. However, the rate of people adhering to the previous guidelines was already low at 62%, so Cao, et. al. hope that identifying those most at risk will help stem this growing problem. They recommend cutting down on sedentary behaviors, particularly TV watching, as a first, easy step to reduce risk.